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Legacy Seat Decided Today

June 22, 2010    Content provided by DDC Advocacy

The race to replace retiring Rep. Henry Brown (R-SC-1) was supposed to be between the sons of two of the Palmetto State's all-time deceased Republican political giants, the legendary Sen. Strom Thurmond and Governor Carroll Campbell. Apparently, however, African American state Rep. Tim Scott's political viability was overlooked. Two weeks ago, Scott easily placed first in the GOP congressional primary with 31.5% of the vote; Charleston County Commissioner Paul Thurmond was second with 16.3%, and qualified for today's run-off election. Carroll "Tumpy" Campbell III, who was planning to challenge incumbent Brown before the Congressman decided to call it a career after five terms, was eliminated, garnering only 14.4%.

The district includes most of the South Carolina coastline, beginning in Charleston County and traveling up the border all the way to North Carolina, encompassing the growing Myrtle Beach area. Today, the voters will decide between Scott, a one-term state legislator who spent 13 years on the Charleston County Commission, including a stint as chairman, and Thurmond, himself an elected member of the same Commission. Scott is the first African American Republican elected to the South Carolina legislature since Reconstruction, and he is the first black elected to a county-wide office in Charleston County. Should he win tonight, and he is favored especially when considering he has the backing of many national conservative organizations such as the Club for Growth, Scott will be the first Republican African American elected to Congress in the state's history. Democratic nominee Ben Frasier, a former congressional aide, is not expected to be competitive in November.

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