Primary elections planned Tuesday

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

STATE — Tuesday is decision day across South Carolina, as voters will go to the polls to make key decisions in Republican and Democratic primaries for a number of offices.

Tuesday’s results will decide the majority of Pickens County’s local races, as, barring write-in campaigns, most Republican primary races in the county will face no Democratic opposition in the general election this November.

In the race for South Carolina governor, Republican Henry McMaster is hoping to retain the seat he inherited from Nikki Haley following her appointment as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In the Republican primary, McMaster is opposed by Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, Yancey McGill, Catherine Templeton and John Warren. In the Democratic primary, Phil Noble, James Smith and Marguerite Willis will face off for a shot at the governorship in November.

There will also be statewide elections for attorney general and secretary of state.

In the attorney general race, fellow Republicans Todd Atwater and William D. Herlong will look to unseat incumbent Alan Wilson. Meanwhile, in the secretary of state race, incumbent Mark Hammond will take on the trio of Nelson Faerber, Joshua Putnam and Kerry Wood in the Republican primary. The winner of neither race will face Democratic opposition in November.

Hosea Cleveland and Mary Geren will go head to head Tuesday in the Democratic primary for the District 3 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, with the winner facing incumbent Congressman Jeff Duncan in the November election.

In Pickens County Republican primaries, county council District 1 incumbent Ensley Feemster is hoping to retain his seat in a matchup with Margaret J. Thompson. In the District 2 race, Robert McKinney is looking to unseat incumbent Trey Whitehurst.

Challenger Phil Healy will look to knock off incumbent Davey Hiott for the District 4 seat in the S.C. House of Representatives. Finally, in S.C. House District 5, incumbent Neal Collins is taking on a pair of challengers in David Cox and Allan Quinn.

Both Democratic and Republican voters will be asked advisory questions at the polls as well.

Democratic voters will be asked if they would support a state law that allows doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients, as well as if they would support a law requiring the governor to accept all federal revenues offered to support Medicaid in the state.

The Republican advisory questions ask whether voters should have to register with a political party when they register to vote or change their voter registration. Also asked will be whether or not voters believe the S.C. tax code should be brought into conformity with the new Trump administration tax cuts in the federal tax code.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 12. Voters who are in line to vote at 7 p.m. must be allowed, according to federal law.

A list of polling locations, sample ballots and other pertinent information can be found at