Aiken County's updated voting totals were still missing three precincts as of deadline on Wednesday for the state's Republican and Democratic primaries. Still, the final numbers are not expected to affect the outcome of Tuesday's elections.
With 81 out of 84 precincts reporting, a staffer at the Aiken County Board of Registration and Elections said on Wednesday that the remaining precincts consist of absentee, provisional votes and emergency votes.
Aiken County Council seats
Updated numbers included information on County Council District 1. Kathy Rawls won the primary vote with 61 percent of the vote, and her opponent, Ron Felder, walked away with 39 percent.
“I am very happy with the results,” Rawls said on Tuesday night.
“I'm content and relieved, and I'm going to continue doing what I do.”
For County Council District 2, Camille Furgiuele beat out Mike Stake with 66 percent of the votes.
“I'm very grateful and appreciate that everyone had faith in me to vote for me, and I consider this a win for all of my supporters, as well as myself,” Furgiuele told the Aiken Standard on Wednesday.
Stake issued a statement thanking all of the people who gave their time, effort and resources to assist him. He added that his message has always been about smaller government and fiscal responsibility.
“That message resonated with a third of the voters. That is encouraging,” Stake wrote. “My message I would like to send now is participate. Find out who your elected officials are and jump into a race. I will be more than happy to assist anyone that would like to rein in local, state and federal government.”
On the state level, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., secured 57 percent of the votes across the state, but only 51 percent in Aiken. Still, he won handily over six other Republican candidates. Richard Cash finished second to Graham, receiving only 17 percent of the votes in Aiken County. Graham will face Democrat Brad Hutto in the Nov. 4 general election. Hutto overwhelmingly took the Democratic primary in Aiken County with almost 78 percent of votes cast.
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., dominated the Republican primary both statewide and locally, capturing 85 percent of votes in Aiken County. Scott will face Democrat Joyce Dickerson in November.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., also took home an easy win with 83 percent of votes in the county. He will face Democrat Ed Greenleaf on the November ballot.
Graniteville resident Chris Corley will represent the Republican Party in the race for the S.C. House of Representatives District 84 seat.
Corley took home almost 59 percent of Aiken County votes in the primary race that included three other candidates. Adam Mestres was the closest to Corley with 21 percent.
Corley will now face Democratic candidate Rosie Berry as both vie to take the place of S.C. Rep. Roland Smith, R-Warrenville, who did not seek re-election.
Corley has been heavily endorsed by Smith, who said Corley worked hard and has earned what he has accomplished.
“I had a long discussion with Chris telling him the responsibilities, and telling him it's important that you do your work in Columbia and do it right and listen to the people,” Smith told the Aiken Standard. “But it's also important to realize when you leave Columbia and come home, the job is not done.”
The lieutenant governor race for the Republican primary will result in a runoff, but it is still undecided who will challenge former Attorney General Henry McMaster, who currently holds more than 40 percent of the statewide vote and 31 percent of the votes in Aiken County.
The Associated Press is reporting that McMaster's opponent likely won't be announced until Saturday. His challenger will either be Columbia resident Mike Campbell or Charleston resident Pat McKinney. Both candidates are wavering around 24 percent of the votes statewide, and each have just more than 30 percent of the votes in Aiken County.
Republican Superintendent of Education
The runoff opponents in the race to replace Republican Superintendent of Education Mick Zais are also set. Zais did not seek a second term. The primary runoff is set for June 24.
Those vying for the Democratic nomination will be former South Carolina Education Association president Sheila Gallagher and South Carolina State University Dean of Graduate Studies Tom Thompson. Unofficial statewide results show Gallagher received 36 percent of the vote in the four-way primary, to Thompson's 26 percent.
The top two vote-getters in the eight-way Republican primary were Molly Spearman, director of the state Association of School Administrators, and Sally Atwater, wife of the late GOP operative Lee Atwater. Their race was much tighter, with both receiving roughly 22 percent statewide – Spearman about half a percentage point more.
Republican and Democratic advisory questions
Republicans were asked two questions on Tuesday's ballot. The first one related to abortion and constitutional language and asked if Article I, Section 3 of the state constitution should include the following language: “The privileges and immunities of citizens of South Carolina and the United States shall not be abridged, so that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. These rights shall extend to both born and pre-born persons beginning at conception.”
Statewide, 80 percent of Republicans said the constitution should include the language, and 20 percent said no.
The second question was related to taxes and asked if South Carolina Law should be amended to replace the state income tax imposed on individuals, estates, trusts and others by reducing the rate of taxation by 1.4 percent each year until the state income tax rate for all brackets is zero percent.
On that question, 78 percent of state voters said yes, and 22 percent voted no.
Democrats were asked three questions on the Tuesday ballot. The first question asked if the state, rather than Congress, should decide for itself whether to allow online gaming and determine how to regulate online gaming in their state. Statewide, 68 percent voted yes, and 32 percent voted no.
The second question addressed the S.C. Department of Transportation and asked if gambling laws should be used to fund road repairs rather than a tax increase. Seventy-seven percent voted yes and 23 percent voted no, statewide.
The final question simply asked if medical marijuana should be legalized for use in cases of severe, chronic illnesses when documented by a physician. Statewide, 80 percent voted yes and 20 percent voted no.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
• Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard. He joined the paper in June 2013. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a journalism degree in May 2012.