A Look at the Primary & Runoff Results

Posted By: GP McLeer Latest News,

The Statewide Primary Election was held on June 11 (we hope you voted!). 

We've got an overview of how those races panned out and some stats for you to keep in mind below.

Note that this blog was written on June 13. Runoff Elections are June 25. We will try and update with another blog after the Runoffs have been conducted.

Here is a spreadsheet breaking down State House (only) results from the Primaries and what the ballot looks like for November as of June 12 (before Runoffs).

You can navigate between tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to see a stats overview of the candidates that filed, the full candidate list from pre-election, a look at November ballots, turnout data, and everyone at the state house who's "IN" as of today (6/12). Note that the Nov Ballot tabs *include* runoffs still. I'll update those when we get past runoffs, and the subsequent data. Results are the simple win/loss - I don't have percentages, you can get that from the SEC (link below)

If you want the raw data, visit the SC Elections Commission here.

Key points:

  • Turnout was at 13.55% for the state, lowest in last two primary cycles.
    • This is down from 17.05% in 2022. 
      • 2022 was also the Governor and Statewide Office primaries (Dem and GOP)
    • This is down from 23.04% than 2020.
      • 2020 was the last time all 170 seats were up, and was the GOP Primary for Sen. Graham's last election (contested).
    • #1: Dillion County had the highest turnout rate at 34.24%
    • #46: Georgetown County had the lowest turnout rate at 5.35%
      • Note: Cherokee County was recorded as "0%" because there were no state primaries. Cherokee only had county-level races.
    • # of Registered Voters Increased over 2022, but lower than 2020 still:
      • 2020 Primary Total Registered Voters: 3,329,755
      • 2022 Primary Total Registered Voters: 3,317,605 (-12,150)
      • 2024 Primary Total Registered Voters: 3,326,875 (+9,270) [-2,880 from 2020]
  • 1/3 of all 170 seats in the state house have now been decided, or will be by end of runoffs (June 25).
    • 56.5% of all 124 House races will be decided by end of June 25 Runoffs.
    • 39% of all 46 Senate races will be decided by end of June 25 Runoffs.
  • Incumbents performed well.
    • 16 (34.7%) incumbent Senators are guaranteed their seats as of 6/12 (before runoffs)
      • Two (2) incumbent Senators lost their Primary race, Sen. Pendry Gufstason (R - Kershaw) and Sen. Sandy Senn (R - Charleston)
      • One (1) incumbent Senator is in a runoff without a November challenger (Runoff = Election): Sen. Katrina Shealy (R)
    • 60 (48%) incumbent House Members are guaranteed their seats as of 6/12 (before runoffs).
      • Three (3) incumbent House Members lost their Primary races: Rep. Bill Sandifer (R), Rep. Jerry Carter (R), Rep. Jay West (R)
      • No incumbents are in runoffs.
  • As of right now (6/12), there are five (5) new faces in the Legislature, all in the House.
    • Between unopposed and primary victories where the primary was the election (no contest by other party), there are five (5) new members of the SC House. 
    • As of right now, all uncontested races and "primary=election" races in the Senate were secured by incumbents.
    • There will be more new faces after the Runoffs, and after November.
      • 85% of incumbents across the House and Senate ran for reelection, leaving 25 districts (15%) with guaranteed new officeholders. Then when you add in primary losses and general election losses by incumbents - there will certainly be more new folks in Columbia come January.
  • The Senate could see as few as one female member in 2025.
    • The "Five Sister Senators" were already down one member by end of filing with Mia McLeod's (I/D) exit from the legislature.
    • IN: Sen. Margie Bright Matthews (D) ran unopposed and is the only guaranteed returning female senator as of 6/12.
    • OUT: Sen. Penry Gufstason (R) was beaten in her primary race, as was Sen. Sandy Senn (R).
      • But... Candidate Yokima Cureton (D) is slated to go against Gufstason's challenger, Allen Blackmon, in November. Should Cureton win, she would help keep the seat held by a female for that district. 
      • Sandy Senn lost her race by 36 votes.
    • TBD: There are two senate seats with women candidates headed to runoffs - Sen. Katrina Shealy (R) and candidate Lindsay Agostini (R).
      • Should they win, Sen. Shealy will be back to the Senate (no Democratic challenger) while Agostini (Senate District 35 - Kershaw/Lee/Richland/Sumter) will then face a male Democratic challenger (they have a runoff too) in November..
    • Bottom Line: The Senate may have as few as one (1) female Senator, or at most four (4). That's down from 5 the last cycle.
  • Runoffs are June 25
    • Senate has 8 Runoffs (6 R, 2 D).
    • House has 4 Runoffs (3 R, 2 D). 


Here are some stats from the runoffs:

  • One more female incumbent lost, Sen. Katrina Shealy, leaving two incumbents set to return - Sen. Margie Bright Matthews and Sen. Tamika Issac Devine. 
    • For a list of all female candidates running across the state for office,click here.
  • Three (3) more Senate candidates and two (2) more House candidates punched their ticket to Columbia as they will face no opposition in November - all GOP candidates.
  • All other runoffs are headed to a General Election contest.
    • Note: Five (5) House and four (4) Senate races are between one major party candidate and alternative party candidates, effectively securing those seats for the major party candidates
    • We don't count them until they win though.
  • As of today, 87 out of 170 (51%) of all races have been decided for the Legislature. The remaining are General Election races - 83 total.

Want to see what the November ballots look like? Here's the House, and here's the Senate.

PLUS - In Congressional Runoff Election news, Sheri Biggs won the GOP Primary for South Carolina's Third Congressional District, defeating Trump-endorsed candidate Pastor Mark Burns.