Gov. Henry McMaster has won the Republican nomination for governor


Gov. Henry McMaster has won the Republican nomination for governor a day after President Donald Trump campaigned for him in West Columbia.

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The race was called for the governor at 9:16 p.m. by the Associated Press. McMaster's opponent, Greenville businessman and former Marine John Warren, took an early lead in the race as the first numbers began trickling in, but McMaster's numbers quickly overtook Warren and he maintained his lead into the night.

"As President Trump says we're going to keep on winning, winning, and winning in South Carolina," McMaster said following his win."Our team extends from the White House to the State House to your house, and that's the most powerful team there is. Be proud of South Carolina." 

McMaster also talked about how people around the world are looking to invest in South Carolina.

He went out to say the leaders in the state are loyal and hardworking, and he made it clear that he was proud of the relationship he has with the White House.

In the governor's race, as of 10:30 p.m., with 92 percent of precincts reporting, current Gov. Henry McMaster had 55 percent of the race to challenger John Warren's 45 percent.

The earliest numbers had Warren ahead of McMaster, but it wasn't long before McMaster began to pull ahead.

During the 11th-hour rally Monday night in Columbia, Trump called McMaster a "fighter" and a "gentleman" as he asked voters to support McMaster in Tuesday's runoff. 

Trump tweeted his congratulations to McMaster Tuesday night, saying, "South Carolina loves you."

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

Congratulations to Governor Henry McMaster on your BIG election win! South Carolina loves you. We are all proud of you and Peggy! @henrymcmaster

McMaster became governor when Nikki Haley left the office in 2017 to join the Trump administration as U.N. ambassador. As lieutenant governor, McMaster was the first statewide elected official in the country to back Trump's candidacy.

State Rep. James Smith, the Democratic candidate for governor who McMaster will face in November, released a statement after McMaster was declared the winner of the Republican runoff:

I would like to congratulate Governor McMaster on his victory tonight. We know that this election is about the people of South Carolina and their future and while Henry McMaster would suggest that all is well, he is not willing to tell the truth. As South Carolinians we love our State but we all know we deserve better,” Smith continued, “As the next Governor of South Carolina, I will bring our State together to deliver the education our kids deserve, improve access to high quality healthcare for all and increase economic opportunity for rural and urban South Carolina. As your Governor and Lt. Governor, Representative Mandy Powers Norrell and I will transform a culture of corruption in Columbia to a culture of service.

Wilson defeats Atwater to secure attorney general nomination

Incumbent South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has been declared the winner of the GOP runoff. Wilson's victory was called by the Associated Press shortly before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, less than 90 minutes after polls closed. Wilson beat state Rep. Todd Atwater in unofficial results in Tuesday's runoff.

Atwater hammered Wilson on ethics, saying he tried to stop the prosecution of a political consultant he once used after giving the case to a different prosecutor. Wilson said no attorney general has ever fought corruption as hard as he has. His campaign also said Atwater had no prosecutorial experience.

Wilson was the leader in the June 12 primary, but finished with 49 percent, just under the amount required to have won the primary outright. 

Wilson will face Democrat Constance Anastopoulo in November's election.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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