COLUMBIA - Republican Rep. Lindsey Graham became South Carolina's first new senator in 36 years Tuesday, winning the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond.
Mr. Graham, a House prosecutor during President Clinton's impeachment, beat two third-party candidates and Democrat Alex Sanders, a former legislator, ex-judge and retired president of the College of Charleston.
Mr. Graham received Mr. Thurmond's endorsement a year ago and was bolstered more recently by campaign ad appearances, fund-raisers and rallies featuring President Bush.
With 73 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Graham had 53 percent of the vote to Mr. Sanders' 46 percent.
Mr. Graham, 47, and Mr. Sanders, 64, tried to differentiate themselves throughout the campaign.
Mr. Sanders said he would be an independent voice for South Carolina, not answering to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle or other national Democrats. Mr. Graham, who has represented the 3rd Congressional District for eight years, vowed to support Mr. Bush's agenda.
Sanford leads Hodges
in race for governor
COLUMBIA - Democrats and Republicans tried to get a grasp on voter turnout figures in a close race for governor, although rain, absentee voting and polling place changes made that difficult Tuesday.
Democratic Gov. Jim Hodges voted near the Governor's Mansion at about 7 a.m. before making a spate of campaign calls and appearing on talk radio.
Former U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., and his wife, Jenny, waited in line to vote at his Sullivans Island precinct about 15 minutes Tuesday morning before the poll manager moved him up to the front.
Early returns showed the race as tight as expected. With 86 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Sanford had 52 percent of the vote to Mr. Hodges' 48 percent.
Barrett wins 3rd District
in state's House delegation
CHARLESTON, S.C. - With the race for South Carolina's one open congressional seat attracting most of the attention, the makeup of the state's U.S. House delegation was expected to remain unchanged after Tuesday's voting.
All six seats were contested, although in three races, incumbents faced only third-party opposition.
State Rep. Gresham Barrett, R-Westminster, won the open 3rd District seat along the state's western edge, which U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham gave up in order to run for the Senate.
With 54 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Barrett had 69 percent of the vote, while high school guidance counselor George Brightharp, a Democrat who unsuccessfully opposed Mr. Graham two years ago, received 29 percent. Libertarian Michael Boerste had about 2 percent of the vote.
Two other incumbents had major-party opposition, although both had defeated their opponents in the past.
Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn beat perennial GOP candidate Gary McLeod of Manning, the same man Mr. Clyburn defeated three times before in the black-majority 6th District through the Pee Dee. Libertarian R. Craig Augenstein also was on the ballot.
Mr. Barrett was the top vote-getter in June's six-way GOP primary in the 3rd District, which has voted Republican since Mr. Graham was elected eight years ago. Mr. Barrett defeated state Rep. Jim Klauber, R-Greenwood, in a runoff to face Mr. Brightharp.
Mr. Barrett, who campaigned at times with Mr. Graham, had almost $75,000 for the final days of the race, about eight times more than Mr. Brightharp, according to Federal Election Commission filings.