Graham easily tops challengers in S.C. GOP Senate primary


McClatchy Washington Bureau

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., easily topped his challengers in South Carolina’s Republican Senate primary, easily beating a host of challengers who said the incumbent wasn’t conservative enough.

Graham was targeted as being too soft on immigration and too willing to go along with Democrats. But he swamped runnerup State Sen. Lee Bright, 56.4 percent to 15.4 percent, with 99.9 percent of precincts reporting. By winning a majority, Graham avoids a head to head runoff with Bright. Graham is expected to win the Senate seat in November.

Jamie Self of The State newspaper said that after declaring victory Graham got emotion.

“I will not let you down,” he said.

Self reported that “Despite his decisive win, Graham’s campaign and his allies did not take his challengers for granted.

“Leaving a May campaign barbecue at the Riverbanks Zoo, Graham told The State that he was leading his GOP challengers ‘at least on that day’ by his campaign’s count.

“But incumbents face headwinds, he said. “If it doesn't come together on June 10, it's all talk.â€

Also in the race were Columbia pastor Det Bowers, Easley businessman Richard Cash, Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor, Columbia attorney Benjamin Dunn, and Charleston public relations executive Nancy Mace.

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