Colbert Busch advances; Sanford moves to runoff election - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

2014 Primary Returns


Colbert Busch advances; Sanford moves to runoff election

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The polls have officially closed in South Carolina's First Congressional District. Elizabeth Colbert Busch was the first declared winner, besting Democratic challenger Ben Frasier by nearly 90 percent.

Mark Sanford was declared a winner in the Republican primary, the Associated Press declared shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday. He will advance to a runoff election in two weeks.  

"I've been listening and I hear you," she said. "I am ready to go to Washington, D.C., and be your voice. My only pledge -- you are my only cause."

She said she would focus on job creation, education, whittling down the deficit and Medicare.

"Some people don't like Barack Obama. Some people don't like John Boehner," she said. "We have to get over it."

GALLERY: 1st District special election primary

The National Republican Congressional Committee wasted no time attacking Colbert Busch, calling her "dramatically out-of-step with South Carolina values."

"Her support for pushing the will of unions over South Carolina jobs proves she will be a rubber stamp for President Obama's job-destroying agenda. Republicans can rest assured that our nominee will champion pro-growth policies that will bring jobs back to South Carolina," said NRCC spokeswoman Katie Prill.

South Carolina Republican Party Chair Chad Connelly added on to the criticism of Colbert Busch.

"I want to thank and congratulate all sixteen Republicans who sought to serve their state and nation by running to represent the 1st Congressional District. I look forward to working with all of them to secure a Republican victory on May 7. "Our top two candidates, in a 16 person primary, received 10,000 more votes than the Democrats. The numbers don't lie -- Lowcountry voters have rejected Colbert-Busch's left wing agenda," said Connelly.

Sanford was the first Republican candidate to speak.

"I am incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support I've seen tonight," he said.  

Sanford spent the first few minutes of his speech pointing out people who supported him, donating time and money to support his campaign. This is Sanford's first run for office since leaving the Governor's mansion disgraced by a personal scandal that marred a political career many thought could lead to a run for the White House.

"We are at a tipping point the likes of which we have never seen as a civilization," Sanford said, citing a book he was reading a night earlier. "I have some unusual experiences, because many can talk about spending cuts but few can do them."

Sanford said the race for the 1st District would be about conviction and action. He called on his supporters to redouble their efforts in the next two weeks as his campaign heads into a runoff.

His competition in the runoff has not yet been decided. However, Curtis Bostic and Larry Grooms are only separated by a few hundred votes. A recount has been scheduled for March 22.

The Charleston County Republican Party Facebook page, run by the party chair, states Bostic will move on to the runoff on April 2.

"I am truly honored and humbled by the outpouring of support our campaign received.  Despite being vastly outspent, we were able to mobilize a truly grassroots campaign to have our message of taking Lowcountry values to Congress heard loud and clear," said Andy Patrick, who came in fifth with 7 percent of the GOP vote.

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