South Carolina voters head to primary to fill vacant Mick Mulvaney seat

ABC Columbia  File

The 5th Congressional District seat became open when former U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney was approved as Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Trump administration.

Democrats largely coalesced behind Parnell, helping him to easily outraise his two opponents.

Despite Mulvaney's strong win previous year, Democrats are eyeing the 5th District - alongside other special elections - as a potential congressional pick-up. Unlike the Kansas special election on April 11, there aren't two party-nominated candidates fighting for an immediate trip to Washington.

Pope is the former chief prosecutor for York and Union counties and lives in the town of York. Democrats have seen a spike in party activism since Republican Trump's upset victory in November.

Norman, a Rock Hill developer, resigned from his state seat earlier this year to concentrate on the congressional race. With 79 percent of precincts reporting, the top two finishers, Tommy Pope and Ralph Norman, will face each other in a May 16 runoff. The winners face four third-party contenders in the June 20 general election. But it has trended more conservative since Mulvaney defeated longtime Democratic Congressman John Spratt, partly due to redistricting after the 2010 Census.

In some ways, Tuesday's race is less dramatic than the last two special elections to fill House seats.

Sheri Few, the education activist who ran a controversial ad criticizing the removal of the Confederate flag from the S.C. State House, was trailing the other GOP candidates badly, in the single-digit levels of support.

A former Goldman Sachs tax adviser is the Democratic nominee in the race to replace former SC congressman Mick Mulvaney. Democrats who endorsed him included former Govs.

He defeated Army veteran Alexis Frank of Rock Hill and disabled Marine veteran Les Murphy of Indian Land. But she was far behind Parnell in the early vote count Tuesday.

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