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Stories about South Carolina

President Trump announces judicial nominee

On October 1, President Donald Trump (R) announced the nomination of Joseph Dawson to the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, which is an Article III federal judicial position. Article III judges are appointed by the president, confirmed by the Senate, and serve for life.

Since assuming office in January 2017, Trump has nominated 271 individuals to federal judgeships, 218 of whom have been confirmed. The president nominated 69 judicial nominees in 2017, 92 in 2018, and 77 in 2019.

Since January 2017, the Senate has confirmed 218 of Trump’s judicial nominees—161 district court judges, 53 appeals court judges, two Court of International Trade judges, and two Supreme Court justices.

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South Carolina State Rep. Clemmons resigns from legislature

A little over a month after advancing from the Republican primary for his seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives, Alan Clemmons resigned from the state legislature. Clemmons had represented District 107 in the chamber since 2002. He submitted his letter of resignation on July 17, effective at noon that day.
Clemmons, who defeated Case Brittain with 58.5% of the vote in the June 9 Republican primary, said that he was stepping down in order to meet his obligations outside the legislature. Clemmons said in a statement, “These past 18 years have truly been an honor but have also weighed heavily on my family and my business. I fully believed that I could effectively serve my constituents for one more term, but it has become increasingly clear in the last few weeks that my time needs to be spent with my family and at my law practice.” He also formally withdrew his candidacy from the ballot.
The Charlotte Observer quoted Election Commission member Chris Whitmire as stating that there will not be a special election for the seat given the vacancy’s proximity to the general election. State elections officials plan to reopen candidate filing for the November election for both major parties for one week, since no Democratic challengers previously filed in the district. South Carolina has a Republican state government trifecta, and the Republican Party has held a majority in the state house since 1994.


Voters decide state-level races in Kentucky, New York, South Carolina

On June 23, 2020, Kentucky and New York held primaries for state-level offices, and South Carolina held state legislative primary runoff elections. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020.

In Kentucky, 19 state Senate seats and all 100 state House seats were on the ballot, along with one state supreme court seat and one state intermediate appellate court seat. 104 incumbents filed for re-election.

A special general election was held in District 26 of the Kentucky State Senate. The seat became vacant when Ernie Harris (R) retired from the legislature on April 15, 2020.

In New York, 63 state Senate seats and all 150 state Assembly seats were on the ballot, and 179 incumbents filed for re-election.

State legislative special elections in New York were scheduled to take place in one state Senate district and three state Assembly districts. On April 24, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo canceled the special elections. Those seats will remain vacant until the general election on November 3.

South Carolina held primary runoffs for races in which a candidate did not receive a majority of votes in the primary election, which took place on June 9. Eleven races were on the primary runoff ballot, including eight state House seats and three state Senate seats.

Kentucky and New York’s statewide primaries were the 24th and 25th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. Virginia also held a statewide primary for congressional offices. The next statewide primaries are on June 30, 2020, in Colorado, Utah, and Oklahoma.

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Primary runoff in North Carolina is June 23

The statewide primary runoff for North Carolina is on June 23, 2020. The primary was held March 3, 2020, and candidates needed more than 30% of the vote to advance to the general election. The primary runoff was originally scheduled for May 12, 2020, but was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. The filing deadline to run passed on December 20, 2019.

Candidates are running in a Republican primary runoff for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Lynda Bennett (R) and Madison Cawthorn (R) are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020. Bennett received 22.7% of the Republican primary vote, and Cawthorn received 20.4%. No other North Carolina congressional seat advanced to a primary runoff.

South Carolina also scheduled its primary runoff election for June 23, but no congressional races advanced to a primary runoff.

Entering the 2020 election, North Carolina’s U.S. House delegation consists of three Democrats, nine Republicans, and one vacancy. The U.S. House has 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

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South Carolina to hold 11 primary runoffs for state legislative seats on June 23

South Carolina is holding primary runoffs on June 23, 2020, for races in which a candidate did not receive a majority of votes in the primary on June 9. Eleven races will be on the primary runoff ballot, including nine state House seats and two state Senate seats.

The two state Senate primary runoffs include one for the Republican Party and one for the Democratic Party. Five of the state House primary runoffs are Republican, and four are Democratic.

Three incumbents are running in primary runoffs: Republican Luke Rankin in Senate District 33, Republican Neal Collins in House District 5, and Republican Bill Chumley in House District 35.

North Carolina also had a primary runoff election scheduled for June 23, 2020, but it was not needed for any state-level races.

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U.S. Representative Tom Rice tests positive for coronavirus

On June 15, Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. In a Facebook post, he said his wife and son also tested positive for the virus.
Rice has represented South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District since 2013.
Ballotpedia tracks politicians and government officials who have been diagnosed or tested for coronavirus, or become quarantined.
Rice is the sixth member of the U.S. House to test positive for the virus. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is the only senator known to have tested positive.
On March 30, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) announced that she had been diagnosed with presumed coronavirus by her attending physician, although she was not tested.


Mace wins Republican nomination in South Carolina’s First Congressional District

State Rep. Nancy Mace won the Republican primary in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, defeating Chris Cox, Kathy Landing, and Brad Mole. With 39% of precincts reporting, Mace had received 59% of the vote. Landing was in second place with 26%.
Mace faces incumbent Rep. Joe Cunningham (D) in the November general election. Cunningham defeated Katie Arrington (R) in 2018, 50.6% to 49.2%. The 2018 general election in South Carolina’s 1st District was decided by the 12th smallest margin of victory of all U.S. House races that year.
In the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump (R) defeated Hillary Clinton (D) in the district, 53.5% to 40.4% The 1st District is one of 30 House Districts represented by a Democrat in 2020 that voted for Trump in 2016. Until Cunningham’s election in 2018, it had been represented by Republicans since 1981.


GA, SC, TN announce plans to reopen businesses

The governors of Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee each announced Monday plans for businesses in their state to begin reopening after closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced that fitness and hygiene businesses could reopen as early as April 24, followed by restaurants and theaters on April 27. He said bars and nightclubs would still remain closed.

In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced that nonessential retail businesses closed as part of his stay-at-home order would be allowed to reopen. This includes department stores, sporting goods stores, and book, music, shoe, and craft stores to reopen, among others.

In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee (R) announced that the state’s stay-at-home order would expire on April 30. He said that this means most businesses across the state would be allowed to reopen on May 1.

Ballotpedia is providing comprehensive coverage on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting America’s political and civic life. Our coverage includes how federal, state, and local governments are responding, and the effects those responses are having on campaigns and elections.


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