Surprise in congressional races
by The Press and Standard | November 8, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: November 7, 2018 at 10:41 am
A lot of Colleton County voters were contacting the local election office on election day, wondering why the race for the First Congressional District was not on their ballot.
They were looking for the race to succeed Mark Sanford as the congressional representative from the district that slides down the coast from just south of Georgetown to the Georgia state line.
“We received many calls wondering why Republican Katie Arrington and Democrat Joe Cunningham were not on their ballots,” Elections Director Angela Upchurch said. “They did a great job of campaigning, and everyone wanted to vote for them.”
The answer is: The Edisto Beach precinct is the only part of the county located in the First Congressional District.
Arrington, with backing from President Donald Trump, defeated Sanford in the Republican primary.
When the votes in the First Congressional District came in, Cunningham managed to wrestle the district from Republican control in a tight race.
District-wide, the unofficial vote total showed Cunningham, a Mount Pleasant attorney, received 135,810 votes (50.56 percent) votes to Arrington’s 132,301 (49.26 percent.)
On Edisto Beach, Arrington received 107 votes to Cunningham’s 64 votes.
The bulk of the county is part of the Sixth Congressional District.
While both Arrington and Cunningham peppered the Charleston television stations with campaign ads — it was almost impossible to find anything on the screen from the candidates for the Sixth Congressional District.
That was because incumbent U.S. Rep. James Jim Clyburn (D-Columbia) is firmly entrenched in the Sixth District while his opponents — Republican Gerhard R. Gressmann of Estill and Green Party candidate Bryan Pugh of Orangeburg — ran exceptionally low-key challenges to Clyburn’s retaining the seat in the U.S. Congress that he has held since 1992.
Clyburn was sent back to Washington, D.C. when the votes were counted in the Sixth Congressional District. He received 129,304 votes (71.13 percent) in the district to Gressmann’s 49,464 votes (27.21 percent) and Pugh’s 2,871 votes (1.58 percent.)