|Woman, black pursue GOP nods and possibly history|
Posted 6/22/2010 3:56 PM ET
Liz Sidoti And Jim Davenport
Associated Press Writers
COLUMBIA, S.C. — An Indian-American woman and a black man pursued the Republican nominations for governor and Congress in South Carolina primary runoffs Tuesday in a measure of racial progress in the Deep South and the GOP. Voters in Utah, North Carolina and Mississippi decided on their final nominees for November. State lawmaker Nikki Haley brushed aside allegations of marital infidelity and an ethnic slur to come within a percentage point of winning the gubernatorial nod on June 8. She's the odds-on favorite to win the runoff against Rep. Gresham Barrett and move a step closer to becoming the first female governor in the conservative-leaning state.
Renee McKissick, 53, of Columbia, said she voted for Haley two weeks ago and felt coming out Tuesday would validate that decision.
"I like Haley because she's firm in her convictions and she didn't let any of the attacks of the last weeks get to her," McKissick said.
Tim Scott hoped to become the state's first black GOP congressman in more than a century. Scott, who has the backing of several Republican leaders in Washington, is in a runoff with Paul Thurmond, the son of the late U.S. Sen. and former segregationist Strom Thurmond. The GOP-leaning district stretches down the Carolina coast and includes Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
If elected to the House, Scott would be the GOP's first black lawmaker since Oklahoma's J.C. Watts retired in 2003.
Six-term Republican Rep. Bob Inglis was trying to hold onto his House seat in a runoff against prosecutor Trey Gowdy.
In North Carolina, Democrats were deciding whether to nominate Secretary of State Elaine Marshall or state Sen. Cal Cunningham in the race to challenge GOP Sen. Richard Burr in the fall. And Utah Republicans were choosing a GOP primary successor to vanquished Utah Sen. Bob Bennett.
Tuesday's runoffs and primaries played out across a handful of states, the latest cluster of contests to determine matchups for the fall's midterm congressional elections. Already, 2010 is shaping up to be an anti-establishment year with angry voters casting ballots against candidates with ties to Washington and the political parties.
Perhaps no other contest illustrated that better than the runoff between Haley, a state legislator with the backing of tea party activists and Sarah Palin, and Barrett, a four-term congressman who has had to answer for his 2008 vote for the unpopular Wall Street bailout.
Haley handily beat Barrett, two other Republicans and allegations of infidelity two weeks ago, but she didn't earn the 50 percent needed to win the nomination outright, triggering a runoff that has grown nastier by the day.
Should she win the GOP nomination, she'll be considered the front-runner in the race against the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen. The disgraced GOP Gov. Mark Sanford is leaving the post because of term limits.
Aside from Barrett, the bailout vote also could thwart Inglis' quest for another term in the 4th Congressional District. Spartanburg prosecutor Gowdy forced Inglis into a runoff after making the race a referendum on the incumbent's bailout vote and casting him as not conservative enough for the district.
In Utah, Republicans chose between businessman Tim Bridgewater and attorney Mike Lee for the GOP Senate nomination. It's likely whoever wins will become the next Utah senator. A Democrat hasn't won a Senate race in Utah since 1970.
Illustrating how fractured the tea party movement is in Utah, one of the founders of the state's tea party movement, David Kirkham, endorsed Bridgewater on Monday. But Lee had already picked up the support of the California-based Tea Party Express, which is weighing in on primary races nationwide.
The victor will succeed Bennett, who lost his bid last month for a fourth term. Conservatives at the GOP state convention punished him for his support of the bailout, officially known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Sidoti reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Pete Iacobelli contributed to this report.
June 2021 May 2021 April 2021 March 2021 February 2021 January 2021 December 2020 November 2020 October 2020 September 2020 August 2020 July 2020 June 2020 May 2020 April 2020 March 2020 February 2020 January 2020 December 2019 November 2019 October 2019 September 2019 August 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 April 2019 March 2019 February 2019 January 2019 December 2018 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008