Dickerson, Hutto win SC Democratic nominations for US Senate

06/11/2014 12:23 AM

06/11/2014 12:25 AM

Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson and state Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg overwhelmingly won the Democratic nominations for South Carolina’s two U.S. Senate seats in Tuesday's primaries.

Dickerson, a retired Columbia businesswoman, will face Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of North Charleston and American Party candidate Jill Bossi of Tega Cay in November.

Hutto, an Orangeburg attorney, will face Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of Seneca and Libertarian Victor Kocher of Columbia.

Both Dickerson and Hutto will be underdogs in the fall, financially outclassed by Scott and Graham, who have raised a combined $15 million.

“I'm glad to have the first baseball game behind me, but tomorrow's a new day,” Hutto said. “I'm looking forward to the contrast I can present to Senator Graham and give South Carolina a choice.”

Hutto said he would not, like Graham, focus on foreign conflicts, Instead, he said he would focus on job creation and the state’s infrastructure needs.

“I grew up on a dairy farm in Orangeburg County. On that farm, I learned the value of hard work, family and community. I know how great the people of South Carolina really are,” Hutto said in remarks delivered at his election party. “It would be nice if Lindsey Graham would leave Washington and come home long enough to meet them. Maybe he’ll have time for that after we win in November.”

Dickerson, a Richland County Council member, beat two other Democrats to secure the nomination to ruin against Scott: Myrtle Beach attorney Harry Pavilack and Rock Hill's Sidney Moore, a retired telecommunications and real estate professional.

Dickerson could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Hutto beat Jay Stamper, the grandson of late Malcolm T. Stamper, a former Boeing president.

Stamper seemed set to cruise to victory in the Democratic primary, entering the race in 2013 and remaining the only Democratic candidate until Hutto joined the race in the final days of filing this year. But Stamper's past made him a party outcast.

Stamper pleaded guilty to three felonies in Nevada related to an online investment business that Washington state regulators shut down because neither he nor his securities were registered.

In an unprecedented move, the S.C. Democratic Party's executive committee endorsed Hutto in the race.

The party was fearful Stamper would prove another embarrassment to the party like Alvin Greene, the unknown Democrat who surprised everyone in 2010 by beating retired judge Vic Rawl to win the Democratic nomination to oppose U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint.

The eccentric Greene lost to DeMint, 61 percent to 28 percent, after embarrassed Democrats considered — and rejected — tossing Greene off the ballot.

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