Hundley scores solid Senate 41 primary win


Charleston lawyer Walter Hundley won Tuesday’s GOP primary contest for the unexpired Senate term created when Glenn McConnell stepped down to become lieutenant governor.

Hundley had 1,645 votes, or 57 percent of the vote, according to full, unofficial results from Joseph Debney, head of the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.

Hundley had based his campaign on vowing only to serve the final few months left in McConnell’s term. He is not a candidate in this year’s race to fill the Senate 41 seat for the 2012-16 term.

Meanwhile, Hundley will face Democrat Paul Tinkler and Green party candidate Susan Edward in a special election on July 17 to fill McConnell’s existing term.

Wally Burbage, a Charleston businessman, came in second place with 978 votes, Debney said. Citadel educator Sean Pike and Fair Tax advocate John Steinberger were distant finishers, with 190 and 37 votes, respectively.

Steinberger had asked Republicans not to vote for him Tuesday because he is running as a petition or independent candidate later this year for the 2012-16 term.

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Voting in Tuesday’s primary was extremely light, with less than 4 percent of eligible voters going to the polls.

The low numbers probably stemmed from several things: Tuesday’s race was a special primary that often attracts only party faithful; the weather was iffy; and the unexpired term will last only about five months.

Hundley’s outright win Tuesday means there won’t be a June 12 GOP primary runoff, which could have been quite confusing. Republicans already will go to the polls June 12 in a primary race for the Senate District 41 primary for the 2012-16 term. Former Charleston County Councilman Paul Thurmond, Burbage and Pike are on .that ballot.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.