Updating how our endorsees fared

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
legislators lack.
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.

11 thoughts on “Updating how our endorsees fared

  1. Holy Cow

    Incumbent after incumbent. It’s like picking the Patriots to go to the Super Bowl every year with the knowledge that they have the other teams playbook and signal calls. Real genius there, Bradley. Way to go- all the cheaters of the status quo owe you.

  2. Jess

    We certainly learned our lesson, Brad. In the future I think we should all just stay home and let you do the voting for us. How much time did you invest on the side of Jake Knotts the last few months? Be honest and answer the question. Vacation time now, right?

  3. Brad Warthen

    Not sure I understand the question. What with interviews, our meetings to decide whom to endorse (and those dragged on a bit), and writing, we probably spent between 10 and 20 hours on this endorsement.
    Oh, and “Holy” — I count non-incumbents. And one of the incumbents (Chris Hart) was someone we endorsed two years ago over the long-time incumbent, who ran against him again this year, acting like he was still the incumbent. So in a sense, that would be 10.
    If you want to see us endorse fewer incumbents, encourage better challengers to run. More incumbents happened to be the better candidates, and the voters agreed.

  4. Brad Warthen

    … In fact, in only one case of endorsing an incumbent did the readers disagree with us. And choosing Jeanette McBride over Barbara Scott was kind of nuts. I’d love to see a good, defensible explanation for why the voters did that.

  5. Holy Cow

    That’s my point, Brad. Incumbents win most of the time. Endorsing them is hardly an act of political courage. It certainly does not make you an adherent to “good government.”

  6. p.m.

    Nineteen for 24. Great for a quarterback. Certainly within the safety levels appropriate to an editorial board.
    And this took you a whole 10 to 20 hours, or was that just Jake Knotts?
    Blessed Redeemer, the risks you do take, when the fate of four whole counties and a bridge to absolutely nowhere other than nowhere else lies in the balance.
    May Spurrier meet you at the pearly gates with his latest excuse, a barrel of Long Island iced tea and a Spanish-English dictionary.

  7. smarty

    Barbara Scott did not even run a campaign. She loses. Not one piece of mail. Not one phone call. One puny little yard sign near my voiting precinct.
    Former assessor Huntley did the same thing. He is former assessor now.
    These people are idiots. They don’t run a campaign, not even anythignn resembling a campaign and they lose.
    Scott is out of a $95,000 or so job and is being replaced by a Richland County School Board member. Oh my God. That board should all be run out of town for what they continue to do to schoools and the perception of these schools.

  8. p.m.

    By the way, Mr. Warthen, thanks for today’s editorial about Clyburn’s earmarks. ‘Twas good of you to keep the subject alive in the absence of any other followup.

  9. unsertara

    I am responding to the blog presented by “p.m.” with regard to the statement that Barbara Scott “did not even run a campaign.” Had “p.m.” volunteered to assist with the campaign, he or she would know that Ms. Scott ran a vigorous campaign with mailings to approximately 40,000 voters and the placement of hundreds of campaign signs throughout Richland County that “mysteriously” disappeared. As soon as a sign was put up, it was gone!! How can you run a successful campaign when you have dishonest opponents and/or their supporters stealing signs? As for not receiving any mailings, maybe “p.m.” did not vote in the election from which the mailings were targeted. Yes, Ms. Scott is out of a $95k a year job, but moreover, the citizens of Richland County have lost one of the best elected officials they ever had. It is their loss and they can only blame themselves for not getting out there in the runoff and voting. Let’s just hope that the new Clerk of Court will not destroy the good work that Ms. Scott has done for the citizens of Richland County for the past 24 years.


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