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Voters head to polls for Primaries Tuesday

Voters are set to go to the polls Tuesday, June 14 for statewide Democratic and Republican Primary Elections.

The polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Early voting ends Friday.

Locally, five Republican candidates are seeking nominations from their party for Statehouse seats in District 42 and District 14.

In District 14, incumbent Rep. Stewart Jones is being challenged by Joe Benson of Cross Hill, a retired teacher and U.S. Army officer, and Cole Kazmarski of Waterloo, a financial services professional.

In District 42, incumbent Rep. Doug Gilliam is being challenged by Union attorney Melinda Butler.

The winner of the District 14 GOP Primary is expected to face Democrat Daniel Duncan in the November General Election. Republican Mark Willis is also running unopposed in District 16 and moves on to the General Election.

Statewide, several contested races are on the ballot, including a Republican challenge for Gov. Henry McMaster from Greenville’s Harrison Musselwhite.

Five Democrats are on the ballot for the right to face the GOP Primary winner in the November General Election. The list of five includes former U.S. Congressman Joe Cunningham of Beaufort, state Sen. Mia McCleod of Columbia, Carlton Boyd, Calvin McMillan of West Columbia, and William H. Williams of Florence.

Nine GOP and Democratic candidates are vying for the right to succeed outgoing Secretary of Education Molly Spearman. The list includes Democrats Gary Burgess, Lisa Ellis and Jerry Govan, Jr. The six Republican candidates are Travis Bedson, Bryan Chapman, Kizzi Gibson, Lynda Leventis-Wells, Kathy Maness and Ellen Weaver.

Other statewide Primary Elections include (with incumbents and challengers):

Attorney General – Republican, Alan Wilson (incumbent); Lauren Martel.

Secretary of State – Mark Hammond (incumbent), Keith Blanford.

Agriculture Commissioner – Republican, Hugh Weathers (incumbent), Bill Bledsoe, Bob Rozier, Jr.

Primary elections were canceled for candidates running unopposed for their respective parties. Those candidates will move on to the General Election in November.

If run-offs are necessary, they are to be contested on Tuesday, June 28.

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