Charleston County primaries: Limehouse defeats challenger by 39 - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Charleston County primaries: Limehouse defeats challenger by 39 votes

Posted: Updated:
By Stacy Jacobson
sjacobson@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Incumbent Chip Limehouse defeated challenger Russell Guerard by a slim margin of about 50 to 49 percent of the vote in the Republican primary for S.C. House District 110.

Limehouse received 1,868 votes to Guerard's 1,829, according to Charleston County Election officials.

"I’m particularly honored and humbled by confidence voters have placed in me once again," Limehouse said.

Limehouse will be set to enter his 21st year in the State House in 2015. He said he has spent a lot of time campaigning recently and is excited to get back to lawmaking. He wanted to focus on creating more higher education opportunities to fill jobs in the Lowcountry's growing aeronautics sector.

"We're putting $5 million in to Trident Tech and we’re going to build an aeronautics education industry to support our aeronautics engineering industry. In South Carolina, we build the best cars in the world in BMWs and ship them all over the world and we build the best planes in the country, Boeings, and fly them all over the world," he said.

Guerard filed a lawsuit against his opponent Monday. He alleged Limehouse distributed false information about his voting record in campaign materials.

On Tuesday night, Guerard congratulated Limehouse and said "he ran a great race." But he also said he would not concede the vote and called for a recount. He said he should be entitled to an automatic recount.

But, Charleston County elections official Joe Debney said Guerard would have to be losing by less than one percent of the vote to warrant an automatic recount. As of Tuesday night, Limehouse was winning by a slim margin of slightly more than one percent. Additionally, Debney said officials wouldn't have counted all the provisional ballots until Thursday, when the election board will declare the margin of victory and decide whether a recount is necessary.

College of Charleston Chair of the Department of Political Science, Gibbs Knotts, weighed in on if a recount would likely make a difference in this race.

"It is something that I think they have to count the provisional ballots, they have to count the paper ballots, but you don't really expect those things to change -- there is normally enough of a cushion," he said. "It just really reminds folks that every vote counts and also reminds incumbents out there that they are vulnerable and you're not going to automatically be sent back to your position. You've got to work for it."

In the County Council District 8 primary, Thomas Legare pulled out a win over Kenny Todd with 61 percent of the vote. Anti-526 groups supposed Legare in the race, though Legare told ABC News 4 prior to the election that the race "was not about 526." Legare ran on a pro-conservation platform and wanted to improve roads and infrastructure in the James and Johns Island areas.

The District 8 area stretches as far south as Edisto.

* Stefanie Bainum also contributed to this report.

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