Primary season is officially over in the Upstate and just like the first round, we are not going to bore you with straight results. Instead, we will give some real insights into what happened. But the first biggest loser from Tuesday was our predictions team. We missed on three of five races. Of course, if that was baseball, we would say we were having a great day at the plate. It is not. Still, we did better than most.
State Senate 6
We predicted that William Timmons would grab more than 60 percent of this vote and he did in unseating long-time incumbent Mike Fair. Timmons' victory was not unexpected, but still it was a very smart race from a political sense.
WINNER: Outside the box political strategy. Timmons tapped into voting blocks that many Republicans said wouldn't vote in a primary - especially in District 6. He found affluent people, youth, small business owners and the like while also keeping a toe in the classic GOP bases. The fact that his main campaign photo showed him at Furman was very gutsy. Traditionally, you cut ties with Furman if you wanted to win the greater Berea area. Timmons embraced that crowd.
LOSER: The County GOP. After losing House 22 to an outsider (Jason Elliott), the party has now lost Senate 6. It is ok, since they did win elsewhere.
State Senate 12
This appears to be the biggest upset as Scott Talley squeaked past incumbent Lee Bright in a district that straddles the Greenville-Spartanburg County line. Many people (us included) believed that Bright's far right stances on things like the Confederate Flag and bathroom usage would keep his base happy while simultaneously his strong NRA stances and pro-businesses stances would provide the win. It didn't.
WINNER: Greenville County voters, who appeared to have made the difference in knocking out Bright.
County Council 21
In a battle for an open seat, Rick Roberts outspent and outdid Stacy Kuper to win Tuesday. This was a strange race to say the least, but the difference may have been the County GOP who attacked Kuper on her political background (she had voted Democrat in other states) and shifted its resources to Roberts, who appears to have no political background.
WINNER: County GOP, who staved off total losses this cycle.
LOSER: County GOP. Why? The County GOP likes to elect people and control them. From all sources we have heard from, Roberts likely won't be controlled and will forge his own path that likely will tick off the county leaders.
County Council 25
Ennis Fant returns to County Council after beating incumbent Lottie Gibson pretty badly. Tuesday. Based on the history of the seat, Fant could hold onto this post for a long time. If anything, Fant does bring new ideas to a district that desperately needs them and he is a hard work.
WINNER: Fans of redemption stories.
LOSER: People who don't like Fant
This race would make a great political thesis one day. Almost 30,000 people voted Tuesday and incumbent Steve Loftis lost by less than 500 votes. This race was very nasty, and it is tough to say what pushed Will Lewis, who drew 18 percent in the first round, over the top. There likely wasn't one thing, but a combo of numerous different agendas ranging from anti-incumbent bias to rampant attack ads.
WINNER: Politicians! Lewis put out a mailer last week that included 10 elected officials on it. 10! Makes you wonder why politicians wanted this guy so badly.
LOSER: Law enforcement. This is not an indictment on Lewis per se, but anytime this much politics is in a race for something like Sheriff, it is not good.