GOP runoff to replace SC Rep. Mulvaney will go to recount

Tommy Pope (left) and Ralph Norman
Tommy Pope (left) and Ralph Norman

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The runoff election for the Republican GOP nomination to replace Mick Mulvaney in South Carolina’s 5th District is too close to call.

The difference in votes between former lawmaker Ralph Norman and state legislator Tommy Pope on Tuesday night was less than 1 percent, meaning a recount is automatic.

Mulvaney vacated the 5th District seat to become White House budget director.

The runoff was required when voters in the Republican-leaning district gave Norman and Pope roughly equal support while rejecting the flamethrowers and outsiders in a seven-way GOP primary.

Both candidates selectively align with President Donald Trump, supporting his proposed border wall with Mexico as well as favoring his efforts to promote U.S. economic growth by loosening federal regulations.

The winner will go up against Democrat Archie Parnell on June 20.

This is the process for the recount, according to Chris Whitmire, Director of Public Information and Training for SC State Election Commission:

• County boards meet on Thursday to hold provisional ballot hearings and certify results.
• The SEC meets on Friday at 10 certify results and order any necessary recounts. We are tentatively planning for the board to order the recount to begin at 10:30 a.m.
• Counties will be on standby and begin the recount at the time ordered. The process is to re-scan all paper ballots and re-read all electronic media from the polling places. Essentially, they will re-do what they did today.
• There will be an election results page accessible through to view recount results as they come in to the SEC.
• The SEC is tentatively planning to meet at 2:00 p.m. on Friday to certify the results of the recount.

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