Former state rep wins GOP primary for Mulvaney's seat after recount

Former state Rep. Ralph Norman won the GOP nomination for South Carolina’s open House seat after a recount in a tight race.

Norman was leading state Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope in Tuesday’s GOP primary runoff by a slim 221-vote margin, which is less than 1 percentage point. That triggered an automatic recount from the South Carolina Election Commission.

The recount was conducted in a few hours in the district’s 11 counties, and the results remained the same as the Tuesday contest, according to The State in Columbia, S.C.

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Norman will now head to a general election next month against Democratic nominee Archie Parnell, a former Goldman Sachs adviser, to fill the seat vacated by Mick Mulvaney, now the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

“Ralph Norman will be a leader who keeps his promises and represents South Carolinians with distinction,” Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBush, Romney won’t support Trump reelection: NYT Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here’s why Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) said in a Friday statement. “We need Ralph to help us repeal and replace Obamacare, balance the budget, and get Washington working.”

The special elections to fill the seats of President Trump’s Cabinet members have drawn national attention. Democrats are looking to make these open races a referendum on Trump and make early gains ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

But South Carolina’s special election hasn’t drawn the same attention as Montana’s and Georgia’s races, since the Palmetto State seat is considered more likely to remain in GOP hands. Mulvaney had held the seat since 2011, while Trump won South Carolina in 2016 by more than 18 points.

The general election will be held on June 20 — the same day as Georgia’s highly anticipated special election between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.