- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Incumbent Republican U.S. Reps. Mark Sanford and Mick Mulvaney easily captured their party nominations Tuesday in a quiet South Carolina primary.

In one of only three primaries in the state’s seven congressional districts, Sanford defeated state Rep. Jenny Horne of Summerville in the 1st District running along the south coast from Charleston to the Georgia state line.

Mulvaney, who was first elected six years ago, easily turned back Ray Craig of Lake Wylie in the 5th District in the middle of the state along the North Carolina border.

In the only other congressional primary, Arik Bjorn of Columbia and Phil Black of Lexington appear likely to end up in a runoff in the Democratic primary in the 2nd District in the Midlands.

Bjorn held a 49-vote lead over Black with all precincts reporting Tuesday. The margin of 0.3 percent with more than 19,000 votes counted was well within the 1 percent required for a recount.

The winner there faces longtime incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson and a third-party candidate in November.

Black ran as a Republican four years ago.

Sanford rolled up about 56 percent of the vote in all six counties in the district, including a 300-vote victory in Horne’s home Dorchester County.

Horne attracted national attention a year ago when she gave an impassioned speech calling for the removal of the Confederate flag on the Statehouse grounds in Columbia.

Lawmakers lowered the flag after the slayings of nine black parishioners during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Friday is the anniversary of the tragedy.

Sanford will be heavily favored against Democrat Dimitri Cherry and two third-party candidates in November.

Mulvaney had almost 80 percent of the vote with more than 80 percent of the precincts reporting.

Mulvaney had about $300,000 cash on hand entering the final days of the campaign against Craig, who does ministerial and nonprofit work and who had not filed any spending reports with the Federal Election Commission. Such reports are only required when a candidate has contributions or spending exceeding $5,000.

Mulvaney will face Democrat Fran Person and a third party candidate in November.


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