In one of the most watched and heavily funded U.S. Senate races this election cycle, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has defeated Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. This was considered the largest threat to Graham’s political career, but it ended in a comfortable victory for the incumbent. To note, the margin of victory was similar to his 2014 reelection against an underfunded opponent. Graham, currently the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will likely move to chair of the Appropriations Committee, which could have a positive impact on businesses across South Carolina.
In South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, Republican Nancy Mace upset Democratic incumbent Joe Cunningham. Mace is the first woman to win that district and will become South Carolina’s first woman in Congress since the 1980s. Mace is also the first female graduate from The Citadel’s Corps of Cadets. This historic flip comes just two years after Cunningham’s own historic flip of the 1st District.
It wasn’t just the federal races that made South Carolina a deeper shade of red. The Republican Party made several gains in both the state Senate and House, protecting its majority in both legislative chambers. The House has gained 2 GOP seats and the Senate is currently at a gain of 3 GOP seats, although that is subject to change as more votes come in. (For a list of General Assembly results, click here.)
In local races across the state, many school boards saw significant changes with incumbent board members losing their seats. This is likely due to voters’ frustration over reopening plans and their continued restructuring due to the pandemic.
Businesses within the state could be positively impacted by the election results and the final two years of Republican Governor Henry McMaster’s term. They should expect more support to reopen schools and the economy while the state also continues working to contain COVID-19 surges. Legislation to address those areas that was left in the balance at the end of the 2020 General Assembly session likely will be reintroduced and passed with such large majorities for the leading party.
As of time of writing, results are still being finalized. For the most updated information. please click here.
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