5th District voters made their decision Tuesday about who will be the Republican nominee for Congress. As of Friday, they know for sure what that decision was.
Former S.C. Rep. Ralph Norman of Rock Hill will be the GOP standard-bearer in the June 20 special election, after a mandatory recount affirmed his victory by a little more than 200 votes over S.C. House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope, R-York.
Because the final results were within a percentage point, the S.C. Election Commission ordered each county to review its vote count at a meeting Friday, held to certify the results of the primary runoff.
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The 5th District’s 11 counties had the final results in within about three hours, and they were unchanged. Norman won by 221 votes, out of more than 35,000 cast.
Pope’s chances of finding enough votes to overtake Norman’s lead always appeared slim. Pope congratulated Norman on his victory after the counting was complete.
“I felt it was important to see this through to the end for the sake of the Popeteam members and all the citizens that have supported us,” he said.
The GOP nominee will face Democrat Archie Parnell of Sumter and third-party candidates in the June 20 general election to fill the district’s U.S. House seat. That seat has been vacant since U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, resigned to join the Trump Administration.