Laurens County voters gave strong support to incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster in Tuesday’s primaries, awarding the appointed Republican 43.44 percent of the vote.
McMaster succeeded to the post upon Nikki Haley’s appointment as United Nations Ambassador in the Trump Administration. In a race of five candidates, McMaster accumulated 2,440 votes to 1,808 for John Warren, 756 for Catherine Templeton, 577 for Kevin Bryant and 36 for John Yancey McGill.
Republicans turned out in much higher numbers. Of the 7,576 votes cast, 5,632 chose to vote in the GOP primary.
Statewide, McMaster is heading to a runoff, against Warren.
The Democratic race for governor was more clearcut. State Rep. James Smith was the heavy favorite of the county’s voters, securing 58.84 percent (1,125) to outnumber Marguerite Willis (30.13, 576) and Phil Noble (11.04, 211). Statewide, Smith was leading with 62.55 percent of the vote.
In the Democratic congressional race to oppose incumbent and county resident Jeff Duncan, Anderson’s Mary Geren was a clear favorite of the county’s voters, collecting 1,122 votes to 716 for Hosea Cleveland. With 82 percent of the Third District vote in, Geren was polling 69.88 percent of the vote.
Only Republicans contested the other statewide offices. Laurens County gave 63.50 percent (3,399) to Mark Hammond in the race for Secretary of State race over Joshua Putnam, Nelson Faerber and Kerry Wood, each of whom got between 14.44 (Putnam) and 10.16 percent (Wood). Hammond was polling 68 percent statewide.
Like McMaster, incumbent Attorney General Alan Wilson managed only a plurality in Laurens County, though he won easily with 2,650 votes (48.88) over William D. Herlong (1,529, 22.91) and Todd Atwater (1,242, 22.91). Whether Wilson would require a runoff against Atwater had not been determined. With 74 percent of the votes in, Wilson had 49.58 percent. No runoff would be required if his vote tops 50 percent.