Turnout slow but steady in special election
Voting in the First Congressional District primary continued this afternoon, with poll workers reporting turnout hovering around 10 percent.
Observers from the U.S. Department of Justice were at several polling places to scrutinize implementation of the state's new photo ID requirement. Poll workers said most voters were well-prepared with their photo IDs.
Fort Dorchester High School had recorded 306 voters by about 4 p.m.
One was Thomas Hughes, who voted for former Gov. Mark Sanford. “I like him. He's a man of integrity,” Hughes said.
Like others who voted for Sanford, Hughes said he separated the governor's personal problems from his political life.
Jane Shealey voted for Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the Democratic primary, and she was hopeful about Colbert Busch's chances in the general election.
“I think they're higher than most people might judge, because she's such a unique candidate,” Shealey said. “It's time for a good woman from South Carolina.”
At Fort Dorchester Elementary School, Wanda Murray also chose Colbert Busch.
She said she related to Colbert Busch as a single parent and believes she has a strong business sense.
Beth Watkins voted for former Dorchester County Sheriff Ray Nash. He's a good man, she said. “I'm very happy he's back in the U.S. and I think he'll make a great Congresssman,” she said.
Watkins and Murray were among the 393 voters who had come to Fort Dorchester Elementary by 4:30 p.m.
Voting has been a steady trickle, poll workers at three Summerville polling places said Tuesday.
Voters in the First Congressional District are choosing their party nominees today. Democrats have only two choices, Elizabeth Colbert Busch or Ben Frasier, while Republicans must choose among 16 candidates.
But one name kept recurring among voters: Mark Sanford.
“I trust him. He's done a good job in the past,” said Paulette Gazaille, outside the ROTC building at Summerville High School.
Paul Gazaille said Sanford's political track record is what's important. Other candidates are touting their status as good Christian family men, and that's all well and good, but “we need someone who can hit the ground running,” he said.
John Kalinofski considered Teddy Turner, but ultimately stuck with Sanford. New people in Washington don't know what's going on the way someone with experience does, he said.
Maridelia Bulloch chose Sanford because she trusts him.
“If he's in good standing with God, it's not my place to judge him,” she said, referring to Sanford's infamous extramarital affair.“I think he can do the job.”
Sanford and Sen. Tim Scott will make a good team, she said.
At Bethany United Methodist Church, Lynne Chatellier also voted for Sanford.
“I like his policies,” she said.
Not everyone was enamored of the former governor and congressman, however.
At Summerville Church of Christ, Dusty Jones voted for John Kuhn. “He seems to be the smartest one out of the 19 or 20 up there,” she said.
Audrey Holzhausen voted for Curtis Bostic. She chose him because he is pro-life and a Constitutionalist, she said.
Most all of the candidates claim those positions, she noted, but she has confidence Bostic actually means it. “It is something I do know about him,” she said.
Likewise, Tina and Jeff Hartig at Summerville High School voted for Bostic. “He just seems to be a person of integrity,” Tina Hartig said.
The couple also considered former Dorchester County Sheriff Ray Nash.
Among the Republicans, there were a number of Democrats who came out for the race between favorite Colbert Busch and perennial candidate Frasier.
Karen Campbell voted for Colbert Busch, but she said she wondered if she should bother, given Colbert Busch's “pretty slim” chances of winning the general election.
“Nevertheless, I still have to do my little part,” she said.