Democrat flips GOP-held state House seat in South Carolina

A South Carolina Democrat has flipped a state House seat in a special election, stirring excitement in the party as the November general election approaches. 

Spencer Wetmore handily defeated Republican candidate Josh Stokes by 20 points in Tuesday's election, according to The Associated Press. The seat was long held by Republicans and became a target for Democrats after former state Rep. Peter McCoy resigned earlier this year to become South Carolina’s U.S. attorney. 

With Wetmore's win, Democrats now have 45 seats in South Carolina's 124-person lower chamber. 

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“By flipping this seat from red to blue, Spencer is giving Democrats more power in the chamber’s policymaking process,” Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post said in a statement. “Her win sends a clear message to Republicans that Democrats have momentum going into the final stretch of the 2020 cycle.”

Post said that this victory for Democrats “should worry Senator Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLincoln Project mocks Lindsey Graham's fundraising lag with Sarah McLachlan-themed video The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election Trump dumbfounds GOP with latest unforced error MORE and the rest of the GOP.”

Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is facing a stiff challenge from Democratic challenger Jamie Harrison. Recent polls show the race becoming increasingly competitive.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has the state's Senate race rated as “likely” Republican.