If you haven’t read the full results from last night’s primary, well, we will get to them. But this column is about the real losers and winners from Tuesday as well as some insights as to what happens next.
County Council 18
Four years ago, Mike Barnes unseated Jim Baldwin. However, Baldwin ended up retaining the seat on a technicality. Barnes took in roughly 68 percent of the votes last night so unless another technicality comes in, it looks like a new council member is in place.
WINNER: Maybe Barnes. You never know.
LOSER: Maybe Baldwin. You never know.
County Council 21:
Rick Roberts took in just under 40 percent, and Stacy Kuper took in just under 35 percent in this Eastside battle for the seat that belonged to Jim Burns for the past 12 years. In terms of political dirt, this was the dirtiest of them all as wild accusations were flung back-and-forth for months. This is going to be an interesting two weeks.
WINNER: Fans of crazy political drama.
LOSER: Holier-than-thou conservatives. Why them? Because a small group of them tried to hijack the race and failed miserably.
County Council 25:
Ennis Fant, who fell from grace in the early 1990s during a State House ethics sting, pulled in almost 40 percent to be the front runner in a runoff with incumbent Lottie Gibson, who has not been to a council meeting in six months because of a stroke. If you want to summarize that sentence, the people in District 25 had five choices Tuesday night, and one that made it to the next round literally hasn’t been able to campaign. Think about that.
WINNER: Ennis Fant adds a chapter to his redemption story.
LOSER: The people who voted for a woman who hasn’t served.
State Senate 5:
Tom Corbin remains the Warden of the North, sorry, we mean State Senator. This is not that surprising. Spartanburg attorney John B. White attacked hard, but Corbin is entrenched.
WINNER: The people of the North, who don’t have to worry about White Walkers crossing the North Tyger.
LOSER: People who wanted a satellite version of The Beacon in Travelers Rest.
State Senate 6:
Williams Timmons needed about 10 more votes to pull off the upset of Mike Fair, but instead both of them go to the runoff in two weeks. That has to be frustrating to both since according to The Greenville News, Fair assumed he lost Tuesday and already was striking yard signs. It will be interesting to see if Fair, who has represented the district in some fashion for more than 40 years, can come back. Timmons has claimed on Facebook that the third person in the race, Johnny Edwards, is supporting him.
WINNER: New money
LOSER: County GOP, who had staked this out as their turf.
State Senate 7:
Karl Allen returns after beating Lillian Brock Flemming for the second time in four years. Allen took almost 72 percent of the vote. Fleming, though, returns to Greenville City Council.
WINNER: People who like the status quo.
LOSER: The people in the district, who again are left with a void of leadership.
State Senate 12:
Interesting note on this split district. On the Greenville side, Lee Bright barreled edged David McCraw to win while Scott Talley finished a distant third. On the Spartanburg side, Bright had a bigger lead over second place Talley, while McCraw was a distant third. This sets up a runoff rematch of 2008 when both battled for the seat with Bright as a then school board member, and Talley as a State Rep.
WINNER: Spartanburg and people who like the Confederate flag.
LOSER: Greenville and people who don’t like the Confederate flag.
State House 22:
Attorney Jason Elliott crushed incumbent Wendy Nanney, who surprisingly fell very silent over the weekend on the campaign trail just days after getting Gov. Nikki Haley to essentially endorse her. This is a big deal since Nanney was chair of the Greenville delegation.
WINNER: Door-to-door candidates. Elliott estimated he walked five miles a night to get votes.
LOSER: The old guard of Bob Jones University. This is a crowd that long ran a large part of Greenville politics with District 22 as their home court. They lost City Council almost a decade ago, and now they lost the State House. How long can this crew carry County Council?
Incumbent Steve Loftis took in almost 42 percent of the vote in a very crowded field. Four people ran against him, but none got more than 18 percent. That went to Will Lewis, who will face Loftis in the runoff. This has been a strange race. It got sort of nasty at the end. It remains to be seen if the 58 percent who voted against Loftis were actually against him or for someone else.
WINNER: Incumbents (that didn’t happen a lot this time)