SC's Primary Election Recap | This Week in South Carolina

State Primaries Results and Analysis  

Associated Press reporter Jeffery Collins sat down with host Gavin Jackson to discuss the results of the June South Carolina Primary Election.  

In the Congressional elections, incumbent Nancy Mace secured a victory in the First Congressional District, defeating challengers Catherine Templeton and Bill Young. Her campaign received endorsements from SC Governor Henry McMaster and former President Donald Trump. Collins notes that while the outcome wasn't unexpected to him due to these endorsements and redistricting, the significant margin of victory did surprise him. Mace will face Democratic candidate Michael Moore in the November election. In the third congressional district, Sheri Biggs and Mark Burns are headed for a runoff. Biggs received endorsements from Governor McMaster, and Burns has ties to former President Donald Trump. Collins notes that this race is particularly intriguing, given the overlapping demographics within their supporters. 

In the Senate, the primaries signaled a potential shift to a more conservative male composition. Jackson notes the ousting of two of the Republican “Sister Senators”, Penry Gustafson and Sandy Senn, known for their stance against SC’s near-total abortion bill. Katrina Shealy, an additional “Sister Senator” is headed to a runoff against Carlisle Kennedy. Collins observes that the Senate elections were intriguing, suggesting that redistricting in Gustafon’s district could have influenced the outcome. He also mentioned Senn’s fluctuating relationship with the Republican Party, considering her firm stance on abortion. On the possibility of a more conservative abortion bill going through the State House due to these elections, Collins says “The chances have certainly increased.” Jackson also highlights Russell Ott's win over Dick Harpootlian in Senate District 26, suggesting that this election outcome may also influence abortion legislation. 

In the House elections, Adam Duncan, a first-time political contender backed by the House Freedom Caucus, secured a victory by defeating long-time Chair of the Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee, Bill Sandifer. Collins mentions his attention on the LIC committee, observing retirements within the committee, and the new need to select a new Chair. He also points out that this election highlights the growing influence of the Freedom Caucus, displaying their ability to challenge against established figures.  

The South Carolina Runoff Elections will be held on Tuesday, June 21st.  

South Carolina ETV Primary Election Coverage Highlights  

During ETV’s June Primary Election Coverage, hosts Gavin Jackson and Maayan Schechter sat down with Drew McKissick, Chair of the SC Republican Party.  McKissick highlighted turnout dynamics, noting a notable increase in Republican participation, particularly in the Upstate, with the Third and Fourth Congressional Districts. Conversely, other parts of the state, such as the Lowcountry, experienced stagnant or reduced voter turnout despite significant campaign efforts. Mckissick noted that the increasing nationalization of issues, including topics like the economy, immigration, and conservative values, likely influenced voter turnout. Looking ahead to November, McKissick expressed confidence in the Republican Party's prospects, predicting gains in both state House and Senate seats. He attributed potential successes to straight ticket voting trends and expected high turnout driven by the upcoming presidential race.  

Dr. Scott Huffman, a professor from Winthrop University, also joined Jackson and Schechter, where he discussed his observations in South Carolina's changing political landscape. He highlighted the contrast between the expanding and stagnant regions of the state, noting how demographic shifts, in-state migration, and redistricting are shaping the electoral dynamics. He shared how this transformation presents both challenges and opportunities for political parties in mobilizing voters and influencing election results. 

Chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Christale Spain, also joined Jackson and Schechter for a discussion. Responding to Republican Chair Drew McKissick's views on the nationalization of politics, Spain viewed this as a possible benefit for the Democratic party. Regarding the nationalization of politics and its impact on abortion legislation, Spain emphasized that “abortion is a mobilizing issue”, anticipating much discussion on the topic amongst Democratic candidates come November.  


This Week in South Carolina highlights one topic each week with political leaders, newsmakers and policy makers in our state. Gavin Jackson, South Carolina ETV's news and public affairs reporter, hosts the weekly public affairs program.