Today's runoff primary may be the most important election of the year in deciding the new U.S. representative from the 1st Congressional District. Just as significant, registered voters need not have participated two weeks ago. Voters who cast Republican ballots June 8 of course may vote today; those who voted Democratic ballots cannot . If you did not vote two weeks ago in either primary, you can vote today.
For the U.S. House seat now held by Henry Brown, today's vote is tantamount to election because the district is heavily Republican and the Democrat nominated, Ben Frasier, is a nominal opponent. The runoff matches Tim Scott and Paul Thurmond. They emerged from the June 8 Republican primary from nine candidates, Scott taking 32 percent of the vote, far under the 50 percent required to win outright. Thurmond received 16 percent , beating out Carroll Campbell (14 percent) for a chance to face Scott. In the November general election, voters officially will decide who will replace the retiring Henry Brown, but nothing suggests Frasier will fare any better than he has in the many other efforts he has made since 1972.
So the outcome of the congressional election, in practical political terms, will be decided today, and registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, have both the right and good reasons to make a choice today.
Beyond the congressional seat, today's runoff will determine Republican nominees for governor (Gresham Barrett, Nikki Haley), lieutenant governor (Ken Ard, Bill Connor), attorney general (Leighton Lord, Alan Wilson) and schools superintendent (Elizabeth Moffly, Mick Zais) who will face viable Democratic candidates. Voters in District 5 (Surfside Beach, Garden City Beach, some of Murrells Inlet) will nominate either Bill McKown or Paul Price for an Horry County Council seat, and no Democrat has filed.