Picking the hot State House races - how we did


In the run-up to last week's State House races, we picked out several races that we felt would be close races that deserved watching: House Districts 29, 44, 47, 79, 115, 116, and 119. Two of these three races we picked as ones to watch were GOP gains.

We'll discuss how the seven we picked fared, as well as look at two other races that we completely missed:

District 26 - Greenville and Pickens Counties: Republican Eric Bikas prevailed over Judy Gilstrap, proving the GOP could hold the seat. A lot of observers felt Gilstrap had a shot, but Bikas got 66%.

District 44 - Lancaster County: Democrat Jimmy Neal beat Republican Rob McCoy, his first GOP challenger in over a decade. Neal won with 57% of votes cast.

District 47 - York County: Republican Tommy Pope started his career with an upset over an incumbent Democratic Solicitor in 1992. He makes history again by toppling the senior House member, Democrat Herb Kirsh, with 65% of the vote.

District 79 - Kershaw & Richland Counties: As predicted, this was a close race, but everyone seemed surprised when Sheri Few managed to blow yet another shot at this Republican-trending seat. Last-minute Democratic fill-in Mia Butler rolled against the GOP wave to get 55%.

District 115 - Charleston County: Republican Peter McCoy toppled one-term Democratic Rep. Anne Hutto from this seat, beating her 47%-43%, with Eugene Platt, a well-known local politico, carrying the remaining 10% of the vote.

District 116 - Charleston and Colleton Counties: Democratic Rep. Robert Brown doesn't get much opposition in this majority-black district and usually gets re-elected easily. He won again with a much-smaller 56% share of he vote against Republican Sean Pike.

District 119 - Charleston County: Democrat Leon Stavrinakis has never gotten 60% of the vote in this GOP-leaning district. Facing a spirited challenge from Republican Lee Edwards, he threw the kitchen sink into the race, including TV ads, but still only got 55% of the vote.

And to be fair ... here are the close races we missed:

District 12 - Greenwood and McCormick Counties: Democratic Rep. Anne Parks holds off yet another challenge from former Rep. Jennings McAbee, who she ousted to get the seat, with 53%. But since that seat is a majority-black district, it's hard to see McAbee winning it under any circumstances.

District 108 - Charleston, Georgetown and Horry Counties:  Democratic Rep. Vida Miller had held onto this GOP-leaning district since 1996 through good years and bad, so her upset at the hands of CofC graduate student Republican Kevin Ryan, who carried 52% of the vote, stunned just about everyone.

1 Response to "Picking the hot State House races - how we did"

  1. Anonymous 12/11/10 12:14
    116 & 119 both lost by only about 1100 votes each by Republicans.

    'een more curious, Stavarnakis only won his home precinct by one vote.

    Rumors of RINOs conceeding these races via holding back support abound and I suspect some of the Haley coat-tails didn't help, thank you very much Cyndi.

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