Nancy Mace and Joe Cunningham score victories at the polls
The precincts are closed, the votes are tallied, and the Lowcountry has spoken.
Incumbent Republican Nancy Mace won the House District 99 seat, Democrat Joe Cunningham will be the First Congressional District representative, and Berkeley County voters chose to keep the county-supervisor form of government. Daniel Island resident Nancy Mace won a decisive victory against Democrat Jen Gibson, walking away with 61.75 percent of the vote. Mace became the District 99 representative in January 2018 after a special election, a contest prompted by the departure of former representative Jim Merrill, who plead guilty to misconduct during a 2017 ethics probe and resigned.
“I just want people to know that I am eternally grateful and humbled,” said Mace. “I want to thank people for their patience, for their passion, for standing in line to exercise their right to vote.”
Mace said that she wants to continue the work on that she began in January, stating that infrastructure is still her biggest goal. She also wants to explore an anti-child luring law that is being discussed and legalizing non-smokable medical marijuana.
In South Carolina’s First Congressional District, an upset followed an upset. After Katie Arrington posted a surprising victory for the Republican nomination, ousting longtime political representative Mark Sanford in the 2018 primary election, Joe Cunningham bested her for the U.S. House seat. In a razor thin margin, Cunningham won by 2 percent of the vote. He will be the first Democrat in almost 40 years to hold the District 1 spot.
“Last night we brought Democrats and Republicans together to make history,” posted Cunningham on his Facebook page the day after the election. “I am incredibly humbled that you have afforded me the opportunity to serve you in Washington. (My wife) Amanda and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Cunningham held a press conference late Wednesday to talk more about his historic victory.
“I believe that politics should not be about scoring points,” he said. “It should be about working together to do what’s right and that’s exactly what I intend on doing in Washington.”
Cunningham also thanked Congressman Mark Sanford for his years of service. He commented that he will continue in Sanford’s dedication to environmentalism.
Lastly, Berkeley County voters decided to retain the county-supervisor form of government over the proposed county-administrator system. Just over 53 percent voted to keep the current form. The new system would have ended the elected supervisor position and allowed county council to hire an administrator. Supervisors and administrators perform many of the same tasks, but supervisors oversee county council, while administrators do not. Four of the eight precincts in the Daniel Island area voted to change the system.
Sheriff Duane Lewis, Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb, and District 2 School Board Representative Mac McQuillin all ran unopposed for their respective positions.
The unofficial totals from Berkeley County’s voter turnout show 53.20 percent of registered voters cast their ballots in the general election. According to scvotes.org, the Stratford 1 precinct hadthe lowest voter turnout in the county at 33.52 percent, while Shulerville had the highest at 61.76 percent. Running a close second were Daniel Island 1 and Bethera with turnouts at 60 percent.
Look for reaction comments from First Congressional District victor Joe Cunningham, as well as a complete ballot breakdown of results from the Daniel Island and Cainhoy areas, in the November 15, 2018, edition of The Daniel Island News.