Elections

Voters head to the polls in Democratic primary for Pinckney’s seat

The special election process to fill the S.C. Senate seat of the late Sen. Clementa Pinckney begins Tuesday with a Democratic primary.

Eleven Democratic candidates have filed to represent District 45, including state Rep. Kenneth Hodges, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Beaufort, and Walterboro attorneys Margie Bright Matthews and William Bowman, Jr.

Rounding out the candidate field are Chauncey Barnwell, Sheree Darien, Libbie Henry Green, R. Keith Horton, Korey Williams, John Edward Washington, Richard Truesdale and Kent Fletcher.

Pinckney was among the nine people killed June 17 in the shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, where he was pastor. Dylann Roof faces charges in connection with those shootings.

The district includes parts of six counties, including Allendale, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper. The district faces myriad issues, its leaders say, including underperforming schools, poor access to affordable healthcare and high unemployment.

Polls will be open throughout the district from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. If no one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election is scheduled for Sept. 15.

The winner of the Democratic nomination will face lone Republican candidate — Alberto Fernandez of Garnett — in a special election on Oct. 20.

  • A special election to fill the S.C. Senate seat of the late Sen. Clementa Pinckney, D-Ridgeland, begins Tuesday with a Democratic primary race.
  • Eleven Democrats have filed, including Rep. Kenneth Hodges, D-Green Pond, and Walterboro attorneys Margie Bright Matthews and William Bowman, Jr. Polls will be open throughout the district from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. If no one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election is scheduled for Sept. 15. The winner of the Democratic nomination will face lone Republican candidate Alberto Fernandez, of Garnett, in a special election on Oct. 20.
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