Lexington County voters on Tuesday chose Chris Wooten, a personal trainer who threw his hat into the ring out of frustration with the status quo, to be their next representative in the S.C. House of Representatives.
Wooten was the unofficial winner in Tuesday's GOP runoff for the House District 69 special election, according to results from the Lexington County Voter Registration and Election Office.
Wooten came out on top in the second round, ahead of school board member Anne Marie Green.
The race was held to replace former Rep. Rick Quinn, who resigned after being embroiled in the investigation of corruption at the State House. In the aftermath of Quinn’s resignation, State House ethics became an issue that hung over the special election.
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Promising to "restore integrity" in the aftermath of the corruption probe, Wooten said he decided to run because “I got tired of going to the polls, and thinking, ‘Is this the best we have?’”
Tuesday's vote was to decide the Republican Party nominee, but the winner faces no opposition on the ballot for the May 1 general election. So, Wooten is all but assured to be District 69's next representative.
Green and Wooten were the top two candidates in the Feb. 27 Republican primary, beating out three other candidates to make the run-off. But neither won the majority needed to win the nomination outright. Wooten led with 42 percent of the vote to Green's 23 percent.
Quinn resigned in December after pleading guilty to misconduct in office, after failing to report income from an entity that lobbies the State House and that was represented by the consulting firm run by Quinn's father.
Wooten, 49, previously served as a state trooper and a Marine. He moved to Lexington when he was assigned to one of the protective details that guard state officials.
Green, 49, a former manager with BlueCross BlueShield, was the only candidate in the race to currently hold elected office. She has served on the Lexington 1 school board since her election in 2016. Her campaign focused on addressing education and local issues in the northeastern section of Lexington County.
District 69 covers Lexington County between Interstate 26 and Lake Murray, running from north of the Saluda River to Augusta Road and including eastern portions of the town of Lexington.
- Chris Wooten — 56 percent
- Anne Marie Green — 44 percent