Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

South Carolina: André Bauer, Tom Rice Head to Runoff

Former Lt. Gov. André Bauer is headed to a runoff in South Carolina's new 7th district. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:59 p.m. | Colorful former Lt. Gov. André Bauer and Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice are headed to a runoff in the GOP primary in South Carolina’s new 7th district. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Bauer had 32.1 percent and Rice had 27.4 percent, according to the Associated Press. On the Democratic side, long-shot candidate Gloria Bromell Tinubu, an economist, had a much stronger-than-expected showing and squeaked out a victory over the establishment-backed Preston Brittain.

The candidates who didn’t make the GOP cut include attorney Jay Jordan and Chad Prosser, former director of the state’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. GOP operatives in the state widely expected this result. Rice has the edge in the runoff. But Bauer, a through-and-through conservative who marches to his own drum, should not be underestimated.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Bromell Tinubu had 52.4 percent and Brittain had 39.4 percent, according to the Associated Press. The Associated Press had earlier called the race to be a runoff, but later updated their results.

Tinubu, a former Georgia state Representative, is not expected by both Democrats and Republicans in the state to be able to compete seriously against the winner of the GOP runoff.

“Everybody knows that Gloria Tinubu can’t win a general,” Tyler Jones, an unaligned Democratic consultant in South Carolina, told Roll Call this week. “Our only chance is Preston.”

The Myrtle Beach-anchored district tilts Republican. Given the current dynamics of the contest, Roll Call shifts its race rating from Likely Republican to Safe Republican.

South Carolina was allotted an extra district in reapportionment, so this is a pickup for Republicans.

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