Upbeat Grooms finishes third; not expected to endorse in runoff
At the end of a long day of campaigning, State Sen. Larry Grooms of Bonneau finished in third place Tuesday in the 16-person GOP primary for the First Congressional District.
The Berkeley County conservative finished close enough to second place to trigger an automatic recount, but that recount was not expected to change Tuesday's outcome.
Curtis Bostic finished in second to first place finisher Mark Sanford.
Still, Grooms was all smiles Tuesday night at Bighorns restaurant in North Charleston, where he greeted supporters and spoke with members of the media.
“It's been a long, action-packed day,” said Grooms, who appeared with his wife, Carol, and young son Jack by his side. “Mark Sanford and Curtis Bostic ran a wonderful campaign.”
Grooms said voters rewarded the positive campaigns of he, Sanford and Bostic.
“It's been a wonderful journey,” said Grooms, who added that it remains to be seen what will happen in the recount.
While Grooms is not expected to make an endorsement in the battle between Sanford and Bostic, he was among the first public officials to call on Sanford to step down in 2009 in the wake of the scandal that engulfed Sanford during his last years in office.
Grooms remained upbeat in a statement released to the media on Wednesday.
“1 Thessalonians 5 teaches us that we should give thanks in all things,” Grooms said. “While there is great disappointment for coming so very close in such an incredibly difficult election, there is no doubt cause to give thanks and rejoice.
“For instance, in a very crowded field, being massively outspent and with a fraction of the news coverage as others – we can rejoice knowing our campaign brought much-needed attention to the serious issues facing South Carolina and the nation. While many continue to ignore spending problems in Washington, pay lip service to the debt crises and show disdain for morality – our campaign was able to remind the people about the principles and freedoms that made this country great.
“I am truly thankful to serve in this wonderful Senate district and it's a job I take very seriously. I pledge to continue fighting for conservatism at the state level by working to protect the taxpayers' money and their values with every single vote.”
Grooms thanked his wife: “In a special note to my bride of 30 years Carol, I could not and would not have done this without her by my side. Next to the Lord, she is my rock and the constant cause for joy in my life.”
Grooms said he wishes both Bostic and Sanford well. “Like all the candidates and office holders across America, they too will constantly be in my prayers,” he said.
The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the general election.