A few hours after polls closed and most precincts were in, U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., was well-ahead in the state's 5th Congressional District against Sumter-native and Democratic nominee Archie Parnell.
According to unofficial results, Norman had 56.46 percent of the vote with seven of the 11 counties reporting their results. Parnell had 42.15 percent. With all of Sumter's precincts reporting, the county voted for its hometown candidate by 51.59 percent and voted 47.34 percent for Norman. Lee County voted for Parnell with 65.57 percent of the vote.
An incumbent Republican and Rock Hill native, Norman is described as a staunch President Trump supporter.
"It's an honor and a privilege to serve another two years," Norman said. "I look forward to serving Sumter and the 10 other counties in the district moving forward."
The race between the two candidates was a rematch of the June 2017 special election to replace U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., who vacated the seat to become director of the Office of Management and Budget in Trump's administration. Norman won that election by three percentage points. The race was one of the closest congressional races in South Carolina in 20 years.
However, it appeared Parnell's candidacy in the midterm was curtailed in May with revelations of domestic violence from his first marriage 45 years ago in 1973. He still won the Democratic primary in June with 60 percent of the vote against three political newcomers and calls from party insiders and leaders to drop out.
Parnell said he took ownership for his past behavior, has become a better person from it and wanted voters to judge him based on the man he is today. A former tax attorney who worked previously as a congressional staff member as a tax specialist, Parnell pledged to encourage civility and work across the isle with Republicans in Congress.
As of press time Tuesday, Constitution candidate Michael Chandler had only received 1.29 percent of the vote.
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