Two incumbent Midlands congressmen took convincing steps toward extending their political tenures in the U.S. Congress as they held off challengers in Tuesday’s statewide primaries.
Incumbents Republican Joe Wilson and Democrat Jim Clyburn won their races in the 2nd and 6th District races for their respective parties.
Wilson claimed an easy victory in the Republican Primary as he defeated Eddie McCain, who has previously run against him as a Libertarian. He likely will face Phil Black, who was leading the 2nd District Democratic Primary against Ed Greenleaf late Tuesday, in the November general election.
“Tonight, I am extremely humbled that the people of South Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District support the limited government and expanded freedom message I promote in Washington,” Wilson said in a campaign statement Tuesday night. “As we head toward the November election, I look forward to sharing a positive message with constituents living in every community across (the) district."
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Wilson was first elected to the U.S. House in a 2001 special election to fill the vacancy left when Republican Floyd Spence died. Before being elected to Congress, Wilson was an S.C. senator for 17 years and was chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
Clyburn swept challenger Karen Smith, a Dorchester housewife, in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary. He will face the Republican primary winner Anthony Culler, who held a significant lead over Leon Winn late Tuesday, in the November general election.
“I am humbled by the trust and confidence voters continue to have in my representation of the 6th Congressional District of South Carolina,” Clyburn said in a statement, adding the state’s citizens needed leaders who would work to rebuild the state’s crumbling infrastructure and trust in government.
Clyburn, the first black elected to Congress from South Carolina since Reconstruction and the dean of the state's congressional delegation, is seeking a 12th term in the state's black majority district.
Wilson and Clyburn were the only incumbents with primary challenges for a congressional seat.
The Associated Press contributed.