Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, the third place finisher in Tuesday's GOP congressional primary, conceded Wednesday to Curtis Bostic, the Charleston attorney who came in second place.
Bostic took 13 percent of the vote while Grooms received 12 percent.
"After reviewing the numbers, even in a recount, even if there are voting machine irregularities, it's doubtful I could make up a 400-vote-count difference," Grooms said Wednesday.
Grooms, a longtime state senator and Tea Party favorite, would not say whether he will endorse a candidate in the impending runoff between Bostic and former Gov. Mark Sanford, who claimed nearly 37 percent of the vote.
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For now, Grooms, who put about $100,000 of his own money into the race, plans to stay busy taking down yard signs.
"They'll be a lot less help taking them down than there was putting them up," he teased.
Under state law, a vote recount will automatically be done, likely on Friday.
For more updates on the 1st Congressional District race, follow reporter Gina Smith at twitter.com/GinaNSmith.
- Mark Sanford awaits GOP runoff challenger; winner to face Colbert Busch in general election, March 19, 2013