Clyburn wins; Maness and Weaver in second round of SC education race | Policy


COLOMBIA — Palmetto State Teachers Association executive director Kathy Maness and conservative think tank CEO Ellen Weaver circled Tuesday for the seat of South Carolina’s open state superintendent of education.

The Democratic candidate was still up for grabs in one of the most controversial and interesting races in Tuesday’s primaries.

There were also primaries for Governor and the US Senate, as well as a handful of primaries and US House races in which several statewide officeholders faced off against challengers. .

If no candidate obtains 50% of the vote, the first two voters will move on to the second round on June 28. A look at some of Tuesday’s top races:


Both sides crowded the fields after Republican Education Superintendent Molly Spearman decided not to run after eight years of work.

Spearman sometimes disagreed with other Republican leaders, particularly on issues such as whether local districts could mandate masks to protect against COVID-19. This schism continued in the Republican primary.

Spearman endorsed Maness, noting that she was a teacher and knows both the legislative process and how schools work.

Many other Republican leaders endorsed Weaver, CEO of the conservative Palmetto Promise Institute think tank and chair of the state’s Education Oversight Committee. She also has the support of former Superintendents of Public Education Barbara Nielsen and Mick Zais.

Weaver has raised over $325,000, an amount that no other contestant can match. Maness raised around $115,000.

Maness had a clear lead in Tuesday’s vote, but was nowhere near the 50% needed to avoid a runoff.

If Weaver wins the nomination, she could face another hurdle: She doesn’t have the master’s degree that South Carolina law now requires of a superintendent. Maness does.

Weaver said she started working on the graduate degree in April, but election officials said there was no precedent for what would happen if she won in November without it.

For Democrats, Lisa Ellis, founder of the teacher advocacy group SC for Ed, had a clear lead in Tuesday’s vote, but it was too early to say whether she could avoid a runoff. The other nominees are former Anderson County School District 4 superintendent Gary Burgess and state Rep. Jerry Govan.


In the 4th District, Republican U.S. Representative William Timmons defeated three challengers. Timmons is among Republican congressmen who voted against certification of the 2020 presidential election results for Joe Biden and he received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. But his opponents argued that he was not conservative enough.

Trump chose Timmons over Mark Burns, a pastor who spent two years attending rallies to speak on Trump’s behalf.

The lone Democrat in the race is Ken Hill, a nuclear plant quality control inspector for the congressional district, which is anchored by Greenville and Spartanburg.

U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn, South Carolina’s only Democrat in Congress, defeated two challengers as he sought a 16th term in the 6th District, the state’s only majority minority district, which stretches from Columbia to Charleston.

Clyburn’s endorsement of Biden was widely seen as the determining factor that led to the current president’s victory in the 2020 Democratic primary.

Clyburn will face Republican attorney Duke Buckner in November.

In the 5th District, which stretches from Rock Hill to Sumter, Republican United States Representative Ralph Norman has no challengers in the primary. In November, he will face real estate agent Evangeline Hundley. Norman has been in Congress since 2017.

In the 2nd District, which includes the western suburbs of Columbia and Aiken, Republican U.S. Representative Joe Wilson has had no primary opposition for the seat he has been representing since 2001. His Democratic challenger in November is Judd Larkins, who describes himself on his campaign website. as a “husband, dog dad, business owner, college football enthusiast, and South Carolina native.”

Republican U.S. Representative Jeff Duncan is unopposed in the primary and general elections as he seeks a seventh term in the 3rd District, which covers the northwestern part of South Carolina.


Attorney General Alan Wilson likely won a fourth term after defeating attorney Lauren Martel in the Republican primary. No Democrats entered the race. Martel had said Wilson is more talk than fight for conservative positions such as protecting Confederate monuments or fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandates.


Secretary of State Mark Hammond won the Republican primary by defeating Keith Blanford, who wanted to take the role of overseeing the elections away from a governor-appointed council and give it to the office of the secretary of state.

A bill that would allow this transition was proposed to the General Assembly this year but was never heard. The Republican-dominated legislature revised election laws to allow early voting.

Hammond will face Democrat Rosemunda Peggy Butler in the fall.


Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers defeated two opponents of the Republican nomination: Spartanburg County Soil and Water Commissioner Bill Bledsole and Bob Rozier, who works in the agriculture industry.

Weathers will face David Edmond of the Green Party and Chris Nelums of the United Citizens Party as well as Bledsoe, who also filed for the general election under the Constitution Party. This is the last year that state law allows candidates to run for more than one party.

Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at


Comments are closed.