COLUMBIA — All five of South Carolina's congressional incumbents seeking reelection won their races Tuesday, earning another two years in office.
Republican state Sen. William Timmons of Greenville defeated Democrat Brandon Brown to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, in the Upstate's conservative 4th Congressional District, according to the Associated Press.
In a race that was once viewed as potentially competitive, Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman of Rock Hill ended up comfortably beating Democrat Archie Parnell in the 5th Congressional District, which stretches from Rock Hill to Sumter.
Following a narrow three-point win over Parnell in last year's special election, Norman's reelection bid was initially expected to be a close race. But Parnell suffered a significant setback after divorce records surfaced revealing that he beat his ex-wife in the 1970s, prompting some supporters to ditch his campaign.
Despite many Democrats calling on Parnell to drop out of the race, and his own staff quitting, he stayed in and ended up winning the party's primary comfortably against three lesser known challengers.
Parnell rebuilt his campaign apparatus, but without support from many Democratic officials, he struggled to regain momentum against Norman.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-Laurens, defeated Democratic challenger Mary Geren in the Upstate's 3rd Congressional District.
Longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the state's lone Democratic congressman from Columbia, won a 14th term over Republican challenger Gerhard Gressman and Green Party candidate Bryan Pugh in the 6th Congressional District of the Midlands.
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale, won an eighth term in office by defeating Democrat Sean Carrigan in the Midlands' 2nd Congressional District, which includes Aiken through parts of Columbia.
U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, R-Myrtle Beach, won a fourth term by soundly beating Democratic state Rep. Robert Williams of Darlington in the Pee Dee's 7th Congressional District.
Timmons will join either Democrat Joe Cunningham or Republican Katie Arrington as the only other new member of the South Carolina congressional delegation, after Arrington upset U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-Charleston, in the 1st Congressional District GOP primary.