COLUMBIA, SC — As they head for an automatic recount, Pat McKinney and Mike Campbell have no plans to concede the race for the GOP nod for lieutenant governor despite a wide gap to top vote-getter Henry McMaster, their campaigns said Wednesday.
McMaster, a state Republican stalwart who was S.C. attorney general and has run for several statewide offices, received 44 percent of the vote Tuesday.
Who he faces in the June 24 runoff could remain unclear until Saturday.
McKinney, a retired Charleston developer and political newcomer, gathered 24.36 percent of the vote Tuesday. Campbell, a son of the late Gov. Carroll Campbell who ran for lieutenant governor in 2006, received 23.95 percent of the vote. McKinney out raised Campbell by nearly $800,000.
Neither has any plans to quit in a runoff against McMaster.
Still, at least one McKinney supporter asked him to step aside.
"After seeing the election results, in my opinion it appears that there is a clear winner," Columbia businesswoman Cathy Novinger wrote in an email to McKinney obtained by The Buzz. "Certainly, anything can happen in politics but a 20+% first place lead to a yet to be determined 2nd place candidate (tells) me that we need to move forward, not expend additional time and money." Novinger said she planned to support McMaster.
McKinney's camp said he is receiving mostly messages of support in the runoff -- and even a few checks.
Any result with less than 1 percentage point difference triggers an automatic recount in South Carolina. McKinney and Campbell were separated by .41 of 1 percent, or 1,250 votes of 300,863 cast.
A recount starts after county election commissions hold provisional ballot hearings on Thursday morning and add any votes not counted Tuesday, the S.C. Election Commission said.
The state election commission will meet 1 p.m. Friday to certify results and confirm any recounts.
If nothing changes, mandatory recounts are needed in the GOP lieutenant governor's race and the Democratic primary for State House District 54 in the Pee Dee, the commission said.
A statewide recount would start at 1:30 p.m. Friday. Results could come later Friday and be certified early Saturday.