Here’s the final count on how candidates we endorsed did in the primaries, now that the runoffs are over. You’ll recall that I wrote right after the primaries June 10 that, depending on how runoffs and recounts went, between 66 percent and 88 percent of our preferred candidates won their parties’ nominations.
In the end, the official count is 19 out of 24, or 79 percent. As usual, here’s my disclaimer: Endorsements are NOT predictions. They are about who SHOULD win, not who WILL win. But since there are critics out there who persist in saying erroneously that our endorsees tend to lose because we’re "out of touch" with the voters, and because there are others out there who are merely idly curious, I’ve started doing these counts the last few elections years. So there you go.
Here’s the recap:
WON — We endorsed Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who won easily.
LOST — We said Michael Cone was slightly preferable to Bob Conley. Conley won — slightly.
WON — GOP Rep. Joe Wilson.
LOST — We favored Democrat Blaine Lotz in the 2nd District, but he lost to the less experienced and less knowledgeable Rob Miller.
WON — Democratic state Rep. John Scott seems to have squeaked by Vince Ford.
WON — Democratic Sen. Darrell Jackson will keep his seat.
WON — Asserting that the pro-voucher/anti-government groups
that are trying to intimidate our Legislature would claim credit if so
powerful an incumbent as GOP Sen. Jake Knotts were defeated, we reluctantly backed Jake for the first time ever.
WON — Richland County Council Chairman Joe McEachern wins the Democratic nomination for the seat Mr. Scott is vacating (District 77).
WON — Michael Koska was much more knowledgeable than his opponent for the Republican nomination in District 77.
WON — Republican David Herndon survived his runoff.
WON — Democratic Rep. Joe Neal’s
(District 70) depth of knowledge in education and health care is
impressive, to us and to the voters.
WON — Democratic Rep. Jimmy Bales’
(District 80) work as a high school principal gave him the real-life
understanding of the challenges of educating poor children that most
WON — Democratic Rep. Chris Hart
beat back an attempted comeback from the incumbent he beat last time in District 83.
LOST — Republican Mike Miller seemed to us slightly preferable to the incumbent in District 96.
WON — Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott,
a Democrat, won easily.
WON — Ditto with Lexington County Sheriff James Metts.
WON — Democratic incumbent Damon Jeter has the experience in Richland County Council District 3.
LOST — This was a double loss — first Johnny Bland in the primary, and then Kiba Anderson in the runoff. But it’s a bigger loss for the voters in Richland CountyCouncil District 7.
WON — Republican Val Hutchinson was the better candidate in Richland District 9.
WON — In Richland District 10, Democrat Kelvin Washington will keep his mother-in-law’s seat in the family.
LOST — Richland County Democratic Clerk of Court Barbara Scott lost in the runoff to perhaps her LEAST qualified opponent.
WON — Richland County Coroner
Gary Watts (Democrat)
WON — Lexington County Republican Auditor Chris Harmon
WON — Lexington County Republican Clerk of Court Beth Carrigg.