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The Latest: Democrat wins US House seat in S. Carolina race

November 7, 2018
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South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, center shares a laugh with family during his watch party Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Columbia, S.C. Voters in thirty six states casted ballots in gubernatorial races on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
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South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, center shares a laugh with family during his watch party Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Columbia, S.C. Voters in thirty six states casted ballots in gubernatorial races on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on South Carolina elections (all times local):

2 a.m.

In a loss for a candidate who had the backing of President Donald Trump, South Carolina is sending a new Democrat to Congress for the first time in more than 25 years.

Attorney and ocean engineer Joe Cunningham beat state Rep. Katie Arrington in Tuesday’s election.

The Republican Arrington knocked off incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in June’s primary thanks to Trump’s support.

But Cunningham used that Trump backing to say Arrington was too conservative for the coastal South Carolina district whose residents are richer and less to the right than the rest of the state.

The Democrat hit Arrington especially hard on offshore drilling, an important issue in a district that stretches from Charleston to Hilton Head Island.

Cunningham is the first new Democrat from South Carolina to head to Congress since Jim Clyburn in 1992.


11:45 p.m.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has survived a rough few months to win a third term.

The Republican incumbent defeated Democrat Constance Anastopoulo in Tuesday’s election.

Less than a month before the election, a State Grand Jury report said Wilson impeded an investigation into corruption at the South Carolina Statehouse involving a political consultant he hired and was a friend to whether he meant to or not.

Wilson called the report repackaged garbage and a political hit job.

Wilson survived similar allegations in a three-candidate Republican primary.

Anastopoulo ran a number of ads, saying Wilson was part of a corrupt good-old-boy network holding South Carolina back.

Democrats rarely run TV spots in lower ballot races. A Democrat hasn’t won a statewide election in South Carolina since 2006.


South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis has been elected to a third term.

The Republican defeated two challengers in Tuesday’s election.

Loftis has tangled with legislators over investments and how to handle the state retirement system. But he faced no opposition in the June primary.

Loftis defeated Democrat Rosalyn Glenn, a consultant who helps business and other groups with their financial strategies. American Party candidate Sarah Work was also in the race.

The state Treasurer is responsible for investing the state’s money and managing its bank accounts as well as running saving accounts to help pay for college tuition and for long-term care for people with disabilities.


South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond has been elected to a fifth term, despite a controversy over a decade of laws being passed without him putting the state seal on them.

Hammond defeated Democrat Melvin Whittenburg in Tuesday’s election.

Hammond won both a contested primary and general election after opponents emphasized that more than a hundred South Carolina laws passed for a decade did not have the state seal, which is one of the secretary of state’s duties. Hammond blamed human error for the problem and said the lack of a seal did not invalidate the laws.

Whittenburg is a retired U.S. Army Major, who promised to not just do the job’s requirements, but also add new initiatives like waiving the application fee for new businesses started by someone who graduated college in the past two years.


11:35 p.m.

South Carolina voters will keep picking an Education Superintendent every four years.

A state constitutional amendment allowing the governor to appoint the superintendent starting in 2023 was rejected Tuesday.

Opponents of the amendment said the proposal takes power away from the people. Supporters said having the governor appoint the head of schools in South Carolina would assure they work as a team.

Current Superintendent Molly Spearman supported the amendment, saying it ensures South Carolina will always have a qualified person running its public schools.

Voters in South Carolina have already taken the adjutant general and lieutenant governor positions off ballots this decade.


10:55 p.m.

Republican Ralph Norman has been elected to a full term in the U.S. House.

Norman beat Democrat Archie Parnell on Tuesday. It was a rematch of the 2017 special election Norman won by just 3 percentage points to finish the term of Mick Mulvaney after he was named President Donald Trump’s budget director.

The complexion of this year’s race changed in May when divorce records surfaced showing Parnell broke a glass door and beat his then-wife with his fists in 1973.

Parnell said he deeply regretted it and will be ashamed the rest of his life, but he should not be defined by his worst mistake.

The 5th District covers more than a dozen counties in the northern part of the state including the Charlotte, North Carolina, suburbs.


10:55 p.m.

South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers has won a fourth term.

Weathers had no Democratic opposition, defeating two minor party candidates Tuesday.

Weathers is a third generation dairy farmer. In the past four years, he’s helped farmers through three different devastating floods around harvest time.

Weathers’ wife, farm and dog played prominently in campaign ads.

Weathers defeated Green Party candidate David Edmond and United Citizens Party candidate Chris Nelums


10:35 p.m.

Republican William Timmons is South Carolina’s newest congressman.

Timmons won election Tuesday to the 4th District U.S. House seat left open after Trey Gowdy decided not to run for re-election.

Timmons was a prosecutor and business man who was elected to the state Senate in 2016, then spent nearly $1 million of his own money to win a 13-candiate primary for the U.S. House seat.

Timmons defeated Democratic businessman Brandon Brown. Brown also won his party’s nomination in 2004, but received just 29 percent of the vote in the general election then.

The 4th District is anchored by Greenville and Spartanburg and is one of the most conservative parts of conservative South Carolina. The Republican has received at least 60 percent of the vote in each general election since 2000.


10:35 p.m.

Republican Tom Rice remains the only U.S. House member South Carolina’s new 7th District has ever had.

Rice beat Democratic state Rep. Robert Williams on Tuesday for a fourth term in the district, which South Carolina gained in the 2010 U.S. Census because of rapid population growth.

Rice is a businessman and a former Horry County Council member and represents one end of the new district in Myrtle Beach.

Williams is from Darlington and represents the other end of the 7th District.

Williams appeared on some ballots twice. He’s also running for his seat in the South Carolina House which he has held for six terms.


9:45 p.m.

Voters have sent U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson back to Congress.

The Republican won re-election Tuesday to a ninth full term in the western South Carolina 2nd District.

As he does in nearly every election, Wilson faced reminders of how he shouted “You lie!” at President Barack Obama during a 2009 speech to Congress health care speech. He has easily won re-election every two years since.

Wilson’s Democratic opponent was Army veteran Sean Carrigan, who characterized himself in June’s primary as a moderate who could beat Wilson.

South Carolina hasn’t sent a freshman Democrat to the U.S. House or U.S. Senate since U.S. Rep. James Clyburn won his initial term in 1992.

The 2nd District includes Aiken, Barnwell and Lexington counties as well as parts of Orangeburg and Richland counties.


9:35 p.m.

Loyal Trump supporter South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has won his first full term in office. With the victory, he’s achieved the office he’s held for two years but long sought to win on his own merit.

The Republican defeated Democratic state Rep. James Smith in Tuesday’s general election.

McMaster became governor when Nikki Haley left the office in 2017 to join the Trump administration as U.N. ambassador.

As lieutenant governor, McMaster was the first statewide elected official in the country to back Donald Trump’s candidacy.

McMaster was forced into a primary runoff earlier this year, defeating GOP businessman John Warren. Trump stumped for his ally, making an eleventh-hour visit to the state to campaign for McMaster.


8:55 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan is heading back to Congress.

The Republican incumbent earned a fifth term beating Democrat Mary Geren in Tuesday’s election in the western South Carolina 3rd District.

Duncan is often the most conservative member of South Carolina’s congressional delegation. He promised in his campaign to bring the values talked about around the dinner table to Washington.

Geren is a college instructor from Anderson who touted education issues, telling her story about how she was the youngest in a house of seven and the first person in her immediate household to graduate from high school and college.

The 3rd District covers eleven South Carolina counties in the northwest part of the state.


8:55 p.m.

South Carolina’s only Democrat in Washington is returning to the U.S. House.

U.S. Rep Jim Clyburn won a 14th term in Congress on Tuesday, beating Republican Gerhard Gressmann in the 5th District.

Clyburn is the state’s longest serving congressman, first winning the seat in 1992 when the district that connects parts of Columbia with parts of Charleston was drawn to insure it had a majority of minority voters.

Clyburn is House Assistant Minority Leader and has hinted at possibly taking on Nancy Pelosi’s position as House Speaker if the Democrats take over the chamber.

Gressmann is a Vietnam veteran and ordained minister who said he ran because not just Democrats but some Republicans were resisting President Donald Trump’s agenda.


7 a.m.

A woman in South Carolina says she called 911 after waiting outside her polling place for 45 minutes to get help because she’s disabled.

Sandy Hanebrink told the Anderson Independent-Mail she can’t walk inside her polling place at an Anderson church because she can’t walk on the gravel or grass where vehicles have to park.

Hanebrink says she tried to flag down poll workers and call Anderson County’s election hotline before calling 911.

Poll workers came out after she made her call.

Poll manager Michael Bratcher says workers weren’t aware people were waiting outside and he didn’t have enough workers to monitor voters inside and possible curbside voting outside.


10 a.m.

Election officials in South Carolina say no serious problems have been reported in the voting.

State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said in an email there was the usual crowd of people voting as soon as the polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

He said the agency is not aware of any problems that would prevent anyone from voting.

But Whitmire said some voters in Pickens County cast paper ballots because of a mistake in preparing a device that poll managers use to open electronic voting machines. He said Pickens County elections officials were sending new devices where they were needed. He said each polling location had plenty of paper ballots to use until the machines were activated.

Whitmire said no one was turned away from voting.


9 a.m.

South Carolina Democrats are getting another shot to wrestle power from the grip of Republicans.

Polls are open until 7 p.m. Tuesday as South Carolina voters choose a governor, six other statewide officers, and all seven U.S. House seats.

No Democrat has won a statewide election in South Carolina since 2006. Democrats haven’t flipped a congressional seat from Republicans since 1986.

As of Friday, election officials say 230,000 people already cast ballots with two days of early voting left. That’s a 46 percent increase from 2014 early voting, which set a midterm record.

All 124 state House seats are up for re-election, but 68 of them are uncontested. Just 45 races have a Republican facing a Democrat.


For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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