Runoff Likely in State Senate Race

Sen. Creighton Coleman

Sen. Creighton Coleman

Mike Fanning

Mike Fanning

WINNSBORO/BLYTHEWOOD (June 15, 2016) – Voters across South Carolina went to the polls Tuesday for the statewide primaries, and at the end of the day, in one hotly contested local race, nothing was decided.

In unofficial results in the Democratic race for the District 17 State Senate seat, incumbent Sen. Creighton Coleman came 92 votes shy of clearing the 50-percent-plus-1-vote majority threshold in the three-man contest. Unless those 92 votes can be found among provisional ballots across the district when local election commissions hold their canvassing Friday morning, Coleman will be headed for a runoff on June 28 with challenger Mike Fanning.

Coleman racked up 4,575 votes (49.05 percent) Tuesday across a district that includes Fairfield and Chester counties and part of York County. Fanning, meanwhile, tallied 4,330 votes (44.65 percent), while Morgan Bruce Reeves was good for just 610 votes (6.29 percent).

In Fairfield County, Coleman edged Fanning 2,281 votes (49.01 percent) to 2,066 (44.39 percent). Reeves picked up 307 votes (6.60 percent). Coleman fared better in Chester County, where he outpaced Fanning 2,097 votes (52.24 percent) to 1,681 (41.88 percent), while Reeves earned 236 votes (5.88 percent). Fanning did his damage in York County, where he earned 583 votes (56.66 percent) to Coleman’s 379 (36.83 percent). Reeves grabbed 67 votes (6.51 percent).

According to the Fairfield County Voter Registration Office, in a three-person race the winner must pick up any amount above 50 percent of the total votes cast.

Counties will certify their results Friday morning before sending them to the state. After the state also certifies the results, the State Election Commission will call for any necessary runoffs.

Other Fairfield County Races

Sheriff

Will Montgomery will get another four years as Fairfield County Sheriff, beating out Marvin Willis 3,732 votes (79.93 percent) to 937 (20.07 percent) in the Democratic Primary. Montgomery is in the home stretch of the final two years of the slot left vacant when former Sheriff Herman Young resigned in 2014. No Republican filed for the race.

Clerk of Court

Judy Bonds, the Deputy Clerk of Court for the last 15 years, bested Dorothy Belton 2,384 votes (51.26 percent) to 2,267 (48.74 percent) in the Democratic Primary. With no Republican on the ticket, Bonds will be the County’s new Clerk of Court.

Coroner

After two terms on the job, Barkley Ramsey came up short Tuesday in the Democratic Primary, falling to Chris Hill, a Sheriff’s deputy, 2,660 votes (57.76 percent) to 1,945 (42.24 percent). There were also no Republicans on this ticket.

Blythewood

In Richland County races impacting Blythewood, Gwen Kennedy won the Democratic Primary for the District 7 County Council seat, topping Keith Bailey 2,143 votes (59.56 percent) to 1,455 (40.44 percent). In the Democratic Primary for the District 9 County Council seat, Calvin Chip Jackson beat out Julie-Ann Dixon 1,877 votes (60.57 percent) to 1,222 (39.43 percent). No Republicans were on either of those tickets.

In the Democratic Primary for the District 19 seat in the State Senate, John Scott Jr. beat Torrey Rush 5,792 (61.84 percent) to 3,574 (38.16 percent). In the Democratic Primary for the District 77 seat in the State House, Joe McEachern won big over Raymond Mars, 3,747 votes (80.91 percent) to 844 (19.09 percent). There were also no Republican Primaries for these races.