Four decades in S.C. politics, 16 months in the governor’s office and an endorsement from the president were not enough for Gov. Henry McMaster to avoid a runoff in the Republican governor’s race primary.
The Richland Republican finished first with a strong showing in Tuesday’s primary but fell short of the 50-percent-plus one majority needed to clinch the GOP nomination outright.
Instead, the 71-year-old McMaster now is set for a two-week fight against a candidate virtually no one knew six months ago: Greenville businessman John Warren. The Associated Press called the race after 9 p.m. Tuesday.
With 50 percent of precincts in, the AP officially predicts a runoff between Gov. Henry McMaster and Greenville's John Warren.
Almost halfway to the finish now, McMaster remains short of securing an outright majority.
The incumbent governor has 44 percent of the statewide vote with 45 percent reporting.
The race for second place is getting closer, with Warren at 25 percent and Templeton at 23 percent.
Kevin Bryant trails with 6 percent, and Yancey McGill has 2 percent.
With 28 percent now reporting, McMaster has 45 percent of the vote to Warren's 26 percent, according to the AP.
That result would lead to a runoff between McMaster and Warren, with Catherine Templeton eliminated on 20 percent of the vote.
With 8 percent reporting according to the Associated Press, McMaster has 44 percent of the vote, but would still face a runoff against John Warren, who has 27 percent.
McMaster would need a majority to avoid a runoff on June 26.
Catherine Templeton remains in third with 20 percent, seven points behind the Upstate businessman Warren.
Kevin Bryant has 6 percent, Yancey McGill 2 percent.
Incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster now leads Warren with 36 percent of the vote, to Warren's 32 percent.
Templeton remains in third with 21 percent.
With the first reported results in for South Carolina's primary Tuesday night, Greenville businessman John Warren leads the GOP race for governor with 35 percent.
Less than 1 percent of precincts are reporting.
Gov. Henry McMaster is close behind with 33, according to the S.C. Election Commission, and Catherine Templeton is thrid has 21 percent.
If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two will head to a runoff on June 26 to decide the party's nominee.
Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant has 8 percent of the early vote, with former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill trailing with 2 percent.