Tags: Andy Patrick

In South Carolina, the Statewide Candidate Beat the Local Ones


Some Republicans outside South Carolina’s First Congressional District are reacting to Mark Sanford’s first-place, runoff-securing finish in yesterday’s primary with disbelief and horror.

Robert Stacy McCain wonders how much support will be thrown behind Curtis Bostic, the other Republican candidate to qualify for the runoff.

The Sanford finish shouldn’t be that surprising. Out of 16 Republican candidates, fifteen would be considered local or regional figures, and fourteen of those had bases of support in the part of the district closer to Charleston. In short, you had a slew of regional figures running against a statewide (or arguably national) figure. The runoff will match up the best-performing regional figure against that statewide figure, a tall order for Bostic.

The short version is that Bostic needs to pick up support in the Low Country, the portion of the district in Beaufort County that includes Hilton Head Island and the slew of communities that have sprung up along Route 278.

The total turnout in yesterday’s primary was 53,657, divided among the entirety or portions of five counties: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, and Dorchcester. (Only a tiny sliver of Colleton County is within the district.) For perspective, Charleston provided 40.9 percent of the Republican primary vote yesterday, Beaufort 22 percent, Berkeley 20.7 percent, Dorchester 15 percent, and Colleton less than one percent.

Sanford won all of those counties except Beaufort, where he won 3,570 votes to State Rep. Andy Patrick’s 3,639 votes. (Unfortunately for Patrick, he couldn’t get more than 67 votes in any other county.) Sanford’s best county was Charleston, at 40.8 percent, and his worst was Beaufort, with 29.4 percent. Eight years in the governor’s mansion help build a lot of connections, even with an embarrassing personal scandal.

Bostic did fairly well in the northern counties — 18.4 percent in Dorchester, 15.9 percent in Berkeley, 13 percent in Charleston – but he won only 8 percent in Beaufort. (He only got 6 percent in Colleton, but again the county is only nominally represented in this district; there were only 230 votes cast in that county yesterday.)

Bostic is likely to have a big financial hurdle to overcome as well. Through February 27, Bostic raised $76,510 and spent $117,072 on his House bid; in that same period, Sanford raised $334,397 and spent $90,342.

Democrats are likely to convince themselves that Elizabeth Colbert-Busch will have a real shot against Sanford, by bringing out women voters and hammering Sanford on his Argentinian trip. But Teddy Turner pursued Sanford with absolutely brutal ads, and we see how effective that turned out in the primary. And the district is a very GOP-leaning one; yesterday, 3.2 Republicans voted for every Democrat.

Tags: Andy Patrick , Curtis Bostic , Mark Sanford

The South Carolina GOP’s Not-So-Sweet 16


Tomorrow, South Carolina’s first congressional district will hold its primaries for their special House election, created when Tim Scott became the state’s newest U.S. senator.

If no candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote in the primary, voters will return to the polls in two weeks for a runoff contest between the top two finishers. The general election contest is May 7.

The Democrats are all but certain to nominate Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, the sister of television host/comedian Stephen Colbert; she faces a little-known rival, Ben Frasier. Colbert-Busch raised $309,559 by the end of February, and she’s likely to have her brother’s fan base eager to help her out financially. The Republican lean of the district is probably enough to ensure Colbert-Busch won’t win in the general election – Scott won with 62 percent in 2012 – but the GOP would be foolish not to keep an eye on her.

The Republican primary field is crowded and has plenty of sharp elbows. The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:  Keith W. Blandford; former Charleston County councilman Curtis Bostic“Ric” Bryant; state Senaator Larry GroomsJonathan HoffmanJeff King; former state senator John Kuhn; Tim Larkin; state Rep. Harry B. “Chip” Limehouse, III; state Rep. Peter Michael McCoy, Jr.’ Charleston County School Board trustee Elizabeth Moffly; former Dorchester County sheriff Ray W. Nash, Jr.; state Rep. Andy PatrickShawn Pinkston; former governor Mark Sanford; and Robert E. “Teddy” Turner, IV.

Tomorrow’s election really amounts to “the race to get into the runoff with Mark Sanford.” The former governor has enormous advantages in name ID and political connections in the district.

One ally of Mark Sanford who is close to the former governor characterizes the race as “wide-open for second place – big question is whether or not Chip Limehouse’s over-the-top attacks against Teddy Turner have worked.  Would not be at all surprised to see several candidates within a percentage point of each other for that second place position.”

Another characterizes it as, “hard to say. I think the second spot goes to either Turner, Limehouse, or Bostic. Kuhn and Grooms seem to have fallen back a bit.”

Tommy Hatfield, the former Beaufort County Republican party vice chairman argues that the geography of the district will be key. He told me, “I believe it will be Sanford and Patrick. . . . Sanford is well known and reasonably well respected by most of the voters in the entire district. Patrick is getting a lot of support and endorsements in Beaufort County where other than Sanford, the other candidates are not well known. The other 14 candidates are all from the greater Charleston area, and will probably split that region’s votes among them.”

Tags: Andy Patrick , Chip Limehouse , Mark Sanford , South Carolina , Teddy Turner

The Sweet 16 in South Carolina’s First District


Down in South Carolina, FreedomWorks will sponsor a candidate forum with all 16 Republican candidates competing in the special House election primary.

“Each candidate will have the opportunity to present opening and closing statements, with a series of questions prepared by representatives of local grassroots organizations across the District” — briefly, presumably, since they need to have time for all 16!

Candidates participating in the forum will include: Mark Sanford, Teddy Turner, Peter McCoy, Larry Grooms, Curtis Bostic, Ray Nash, Elizabeth Moffley, Shawn Pinkston, Andy Patrick, John Kuhn, Keith Blandford, Jeff King, Jonathan Hoffman, Tim Larkin, Chip Limehouse, and Ric Bryant.

The candidate forum will be held on Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m., at the Embassy Suites Hotel Convention Center in North Charleston.

The primary is March 19, with a runoff on April 2 if no one receives 50 percent; the general election is May 7.

Tags: Andy Patrick , Chip Limehouse , Mark Sanford , South Carolina , Special Elections , Teddy Turner

Thirteen Will Compete in South Carolina GOP House Primary


Filing for South Carolina’s special House election closes at noon today.

A small crowd of Republicans are running; in alphabetical order, they are Keith W. Blandford, former Charleston County councilman Curtis Bostic, state senator Larry Grooms, Jonathan Hoffman, Jeff King, former state representative John Kuhn, state representative Chip Limehouse, state representative Peter McCoy, Charleston County School Board trustee Elizabeth Moffly, former Dorchester County sheriff Ray Nash, state representative Andy Patrick, former governor Mark Sanford, and Teddy Turner, son of mogul Ted Turner.

Three candidates have filed on the Democratic side: Elizabeth Colbert-Busch (the sister of television comedian Stephen Colbert), Bobbie Rose, and Martin Skelly.

If no candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote in the primary, the two top-finishing candidates will compete in a runoff April 2. The general election is May 7.

Tags: Andy Patrick , Chip Limehouse , Mark Sanford , South Carolina , Teddy Turner

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