By Stefanie Bainum
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- With numerous dates, a recount, and a runoff -- the District 1 Congressional special election is anything but simple.
The race for Senator Tim Scott's former house seat saw fireworks Tuesday night. Former Gov. Mark Sanford won the Republican top spot with 37 percent of the vote. Behind him trails, Curtis Bostic with 13 percent and Larry Grooms with 12 percent.
"The real question was: can Sanford make a comeback? And I think he cleared an important first hurdle," College of Charleston Political Science Dept. Chair Gibbs Knotts said. "Who is going to be against Sanford and will the anti-Sanford folks unite against him in this two weeks in this runoff and get behind Bostic?"
With just 493 votes between Larry Grooms and Curtis Bostic, the close race for second place automatically triggers a recount. Grooms' campaign manager said Grooms would not concede earlier in the day, but he ultimately did.
Now, Sanford and Bostic must prepare for a primary debate before the runoff election.
"The State Election Commission organizes the recount," Knotts said. "They have to do it quickly because we've got two weeks until the runoff. I don't expect things to change -- it seems to be enough of a cushion to where it's going to be Bostic versus Sanford in a couple of weeks."
On the other side of things, Elizabeth Colbert Busch cruised to victory Tuesday night in the Democratic primary with 96 percent of the vote. Her opponent, Ben Frazier, again fell short of securing a nomination.
The Republican run-off is set for April 2. The winner of the runoff will face off with Democratic candidate Colbert Busch on the general election date of May 7.
"If it's Sanford versus Colbert Busch, it will be a huge race and a lot of money and a lot of national attention for the Lowcountry," Knotts said.