It’s primary day in Utah, and runoff day in South Carolina, Utah, and North Carolina.
In South Carolina, Republicans will pick their gubernatorial nominee between Nikki Haley and Gresham Barrett. The past two weeks have seen no anti-Haley bombshells, so she is expected to win; in the first round, she had 49 percent to about 22 percent for Barrett. But because a little over 50 percent voted for someone else last time, it’s possible this might not be the rout that the first round’s results would suggest. Haley represents overturning the established order of Palmetto State GOP politics, and there are a lot of folks who are comfortable with the way things are already.
Down-ticket, Leighton Lord and Alan Wilson, the son of Rep. Joe Wilson, are fighting for the GOP nomination to be state attorney general. A mysterious group is running ads against Wilson, claiming he’s just a “Good Ole Boy” who once failed the bar exam. The ads are enough to get his father to yell, “YOU L-” — eh, you know, that joke is just too easy.
Also down-ticket in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district is the GOP runoff for U.S. House; Tim Scott is expected to finish ahead of Paul Thurmond, son of the longtime senator. This is an R+10 district, and so the winner is likely to go on to win in November; if elected, Scott would be the first African-American Republican in the House since J. C. Watts retired.
I notice Thurmond is running an attack ad that simultaneously criticizes Scott for supporting more spending and for opposing funding for harbor dredging.
The race for South Carolina state attorney general hasn’t really been a
top-tier race needing national attention, but it has come up in my chats in Palmetto State GOP circles. One candidate in the race has always been described to me as “Congressman Joe Wilson’s son.”
The Washington Postwrites about the race today, and there’s something intriguing in the way they frame the fact that both candidates have prominent older relatives:
Joe Wilson’s stepson vs. insurance mogul’s son-in-law in South Carolina runoff
The Post is perfectly accurate when it describes Alan Wilson as Joe Wilson’s stepson, but I find it interesting that the prefix was dropped in all conversations I had in local circles. (I think eventually someone mentioned that Alan Wilson’s mother was a widow with a child when the congressman married her.) In the article, Leighton Lord remarks, “he has the full advantage of his father yelling at the president.”
Every adoptive father I know refers to his sons as his “sons,” not his “stepsons.” The Post isn’t being deliberately insensitive, and I suppose the AP stylebook is in the accuracy business, not the sensitivity business. But it just hits the ear a little awkwardly, and perhaps unnecessarily.
UPDATE: A reader argues that the term “stepson” is not the most accurate term: “Stepson refers to a spouse’s child who is not biological. Adopted son refers to a child for whom a parent or parents have gone through the legal process to adopt as if he/she was their own.”