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SC primary: GOP heads to runoff, Goldman Sachs adviser wins for Dems

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Democrat Archie Parnell is projected to advance to the general election for South Carolina’s open House seat, while two Republicans will head to a runoff later this month. 

Parnell, a former Goldman Sachs senior adviser, won the majority of the vote in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, preventing a runoff. He defeated two Democratic opponents, Army veteran and student Alexis Frank and Marine veteran Les Murphy.

Parnell will now go on to face a Republican in the general election to fill the seat vacated by Mick Mulvaney, now the director of the Office of Management and Budget. 

{mosads}Democrats largely coalesced behind Parnell, helping him to easily outraise his two opponents. Ahead of the primary, he nabbed endorsements from outgoing South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison and many former and current state legislators. 

In Tuesday’s Republican primary, none of the seven candidates were able to garner a majority of the vote. With 82 percent of the vote tallied, the top two GOP candidates were former state Rep. Ralph Norman, with 31.5 percent, and state Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope, with 30.4 percent.

This year’s special elections have received outsized national attention as Democrats look to mobilize their base ahead of the 2018 midterms and make the races a referendum on President Trump and his agenda.

But while Republicans have seen their margins shrink in special elections for other traditionally Republican seats, the party is likely to hold onto Mulvaney’s seat, which he has represented since 2011, by a safe margin. Mulvaney easily won reelection last year, and President Trump carried South Carolina by more than 18 points.

National Democrats have yet to get involved in South Carolina’s special election, though Parnell has reportedly been in contact with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The general election will be held on June 20, the same day as the highly anticipated Georgia special election between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.

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