On Tuesday, the political robo-calls could reach a crescendo, final promises will be made, the last babies will be kissed and voters will go to the polls to settle runoff contests for high-profile public offices.

Those voting in the Republican runoff will have a number of key races to consider, and their selections will decide the fall ballot lineup against Democratic and third-party candidates for top state leadership positions, two seats in Congress and a number of state and local offices.

The single Democratic runoff is between two candidates for Charleston County Council District 8.

While the runoff elections will decide the winners of political party nominations, voting is not restricted to members of the party involved.

For example, most of the contests Tuesday are runoffs between GOP candidates, but any registered voter may participate in the GOP runoff as long as they did not vote in the Democratic primary election June 8.

Republican runoff contests are:


The marquee race in the GOP runoff will be the contest for governor between state Rep. Nikki Haley of Lexington County and U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett of Westminster.

Both candidates have sought to convince voters that they are the more conservative one, with promises to cut business taxes and trim spending in a state where the budget already has been slashed to 1999 spending levels.

State budget officials predict that additional budget cutting will be needed next year, regardless of who sits in the governor's mansion.

Haley has been criticized for voting for state budgets during years when spending was increasing, while Barrett has taken heat -- he was booed at a tea party rally -- for voting in favor of the TARP bailout program for financial institutions during the Bush presidency.

Haley, the daughter of immigrants from India who was raised Sikh before becoming a Methodist, has faced ongoing questions about her religion from opponents.

Barrett has offered voters a 16-page "jobs plan" posted on his website, calling for a rewrite of the entire state tax code, while Haley's website offers a paragraph and a YouTube video on the subject, calling for the elimination of the income tax for small businesses and a reduction in personal income tax.

Both candidates describe themselves as pro-life Christians, and both are anti-union and pro-gun-ownership.

Haley, whose popularity soared after she was endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, shrugged off two accusations of marital infidelity in the weeks leading up to the four-way primary and won the contest with 49 percent of the vote, nearly eliminating the need for a runoff.

She has since been endorsed by one of her former rivals, Attorney General Henry McMaster.

Barrett came in second in the primary and has been endorsed by former candidate Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who also was in the original race. The winner will face Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the general election.

Lt. governor

South Carolina's lieutenant governor is responsible for the state's Office on Aging, presides over the Senate, and steps in if something happens to the governor.

It's a part-time job, but runoff candidates Ken Ard and Bill Connor have sought to make it one with a higher profile, as both Republicans said they would seek to recruit businesses and overhaul the state's tax system.

Ard, a Florence County councilman, was the top vote-getter in the four-way primary with 34 percent of the vote to Connor's 27 percent. Connor is an Orangeburg attorney.

In November, the runoff winner will face Democrat Ashley Cooper, a Charleston lawyer and former aide to retired U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings.

Attorney general

The GOP runoff for the state's top prosecutor features Alan Wilson, a former Lexington County prosecutor, and Leighton Lord, managing partner of one of the state's largest law firms.

Lord is also a Santee Cooper board member.

He has proposed targeting gangs, eliminating bail, probation and parole for violent offenders and fighting to protect the state's water rights and natural resources.

Wilson, a son of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, also worked as an assistant attorney general. He was endorsed by third-place finisher Robert Bolchoz. Wilson also is promoting his service as a National Guard major who did a year's tour of duty in Iraq.

The winner faces Democrat Matthew Richardson.

Superintendent of education

Mick Zais, the outgoing president of Newberry College, was the top vote-getter two weeks ago, capturing about 26 percent of the vote in a six-way race. He faces Elizabeth Moffly, of Awendaw, the president of a construction and real estate company, who finished second with about 19 percent.

Zais, a retired Army brigadier general and West Point graduate, has stressed safe classrooms, measured progress of students and better accountability of taxpayer money going into those classrooms. He is leaving Newberry after 10 years in charge.

Moffly, who did not finish college and home-schools two of her children, has proposed reforms that include increasing the number of paths to earn a high school diploma, reducing the number of credits needed for graduation from 24 to 19, and altering the current grading scale from a seven-point system -- such as 93 to 100 being an A grade -- to a 10-point system seen in other states.

The winner of the GOP runoff will face Democrat Frank Holleman in the general election.

1st Congressional District

State Rep. Tim Scott led the nine-way race with about 31 percent of the vote two weeks ago. He faces Charleston County Councilman Paul Thurmond, who finished second with about 16 percent of the vote.

Since the election Thurmond has been endorsed by five of the seven other candidates who had sought the position in the June 8 primary. On Saturday Scott was endorsed by Palin.

The race has attracted national attention because Thurmond is the son of the one-time segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond and Scott would be South Carolina's first black Republican congressman since Reconstruction. Scott has portrayed himself as the more conservative candidate.

Thurmond and Scott served together, and usually voted together, on Charleston County Council. One area where they have disagreed during the Congressional campaign is Thurmond's call that Scott's across-the-board opposition to earmarks could cost much-needed dollars for vital local projects like Charleston Harbor dredging.

Scott said budgets need to be tightened in Washington with all facets of the bill-writing process done in the open.

The winner will face Democrat Ben Frasier, who has sought the office many times.

6th Congressional District

The GOP race to take on House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn in November features two hopefuls from the Midlands who have never held office.

St. Matthews businessman Jim Pratt led the way two weeks ago with 49 percent of the vote. He faces Nancy Harrelson of Marion, who drew 22 percent. She unsuccessfully challenged Clyburn in 2008. The district includes parts of Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester and Colleton counties.

Both candidates have similar Republican-themed platforms, largely based upon opposition to the Obama administration's initiatives.

S.C. House District 117

The runoff for the seat that Tim Scott is leaving, serving Berkeley and Charleston counties, is between Bill Crosby and Jimmy Hinson. There is no Democrat on the fall ballot to oppose the runoff winner.

Crosby is a retired MeadWestvaco process-control supervisor who served for 12 years on Berkeley County Council.

Hinson is a math teacher and Berkeley County School Board member.

Jermaine Husser, the third-place finisher in the primary race, has endorsed Hinson.

Berkeley County Supervisor

Incumbent Dan Davis and U.S. Rep. Henry Brown are battling over this position after their first go-round left them separated by just three votes, with Davis in the lead.

One of the key fighting points is Brown's claim that Davis broke a promise to county residents when he used some of the county's local-option sales-tax rebate money in recent budgets instead of giving it back to property owners in the form of lowering their tax bills, which Brown said was intended in the 1996 referendum that authorized the penny sales-tax increase.

Davis said the decision was up to County Council, which approves the budget.

Both are residents of Hanahan, where Davis had been city administrator.

Davis' advertising has targeted poor decisions by Congress for the country's misfortunes. Brown has been in Congress since 2000.

Berkeley County Coroner

Longtime Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Salisbury will face Sharon Shuler, a crime-scene investigator for the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, in this race.

Salisbury finished slightly ahead of Shuler in the primary. Incumbent Coroner Glenn Rhoad announced in May that he would retire when his term ends.

Dorchester County Council District 2

Political newcomers James E. Stein and David Chinnis will meet in the runoff.

Chinnis, a technical manager for Asahi Photo Products, has said impact fees could be one way to finance improvements in the county.

Stein does maintenance at Reeves Elementary School and is chairman of the county Board of Zoning Appeals. He wants the state to use lottery money to support local schools, instead of colleges.

The lone Democratic contest is:

Charleston County Council District 8

The only area Democratic runoff on Tuesday should settle what began as an eight-way scramble for the seat to which Councilman Curtis Inabinett is not seeking re-election. The race is between Karen Hollinshead Brown and Anna B. Johnson.

Brown, principal of E.B. Ellington Elementary School, has served on the North Charleston Sewer District since 1985. Johnson served on James Island Town Council in the mid-1990s and retired in January from her job at the College of Charleston.

Both say the county needs to pay more attention to rural needs, such as road and ditch maintenance.

Runoff lineups

Below are the 10 Republican races and one Democratic contest that will be decided Tuesday in the parties' runoff elections.


Charleston County Council District 8

--Karen Hollinshead Brown

--Anna B. Johnson



--Gresham Barrett

--Nikki Haley

Lieutenant Governor

--Ken Ard

--Bill Connor

Education Superintendent

--Elizabeth Moffly

--Mick Zais

Attorney General

--Leighton Lord

--Alan Wilson

State House District 117

--Bill Crosby

--Jimmy Hinson

1st Congressional District

--Tim Scott

--Paul Thurmond

6th Congressional District

--Nancy Harrelson

--Jim Pratt

Berkeley County Supervisor

--Henry Brown

--Dan Davis

Berkeley County Coroner

--Bill Salisbury

--Sharon Shuler

Dorchester County Council District 2

--David Chinnis

--James E. Stein

How to vote

Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Voters must have either their signed voter registration card, a South Carolina driver's license or a photo ID issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

If you didn't vote in the primary elections June 8, you can vote in either party's runoff election. But if you voted in the primary, you are eligible to vote only in that party's runoff.

Voters will use electronic ballots with touch-screen pads listing federal, state and local candidates. Ballots can vary from precinct to precinct, depending on local races.

Voters must touch the screen next to the candidate of their choice. They may change their selection by touching the screen next to another candidate. Once voters decide on the candidates listed on a screen, they will touch 'Next' at the bottom of the screen. When done, voters will be asked to review their choices and can change their votes before hitting the final flashing 'Vote' sign.

To experience how the system works, go to the www.scvotes.org.

For more election information, including political news, candidate profiles and links to county election commissions, visit postandcourier.com.

Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or dslade@postandcourier.com; reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551 or skropf@postandcourier.com.