Both York County Republicans held 11th-hour campaign events Monday as they pushed to fill the vacant 5th Congressional District seat in South Carolina.
Tommy Pope and Ralph Norman are vying for the congressional seat in a race that has received national attention. The seat became available when Republican Mick Mulvaney resigned to become President Donald Trump’s budget director.
Pope and Norman were the top two vote-getters in the May 2 primary.
Former Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, came to Rock Hill Monday in support of Norman.
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Pope’s final campaign day featured speaking stops in Union, Cherokee, York and Lancaster counties as Pope concentrated on reaching voters himself. The 5th district includes all or parts of 11 counties.
Cruz, who was among the strongest challengers to Donald Trump in 2016 and has a loyal conservative following, told a crowd of a few hundred at Hickory Tavern that Norman is the “strongest conservative” in the race.
“The eyes of the country are on South Carolina,” Cruz said. “The time for talk is over and the time for action is now...I’m supporting the strongest conservative in this race and it is Ralph Norman.”
Any chance for Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, lower taxes, strip regulations and elect conservatives to the U.S. Supreme Court lies with conservative members of Congress, Cruz said. And now the Republicans have control of the Congress and executive branches, they better not “blow it.”
Norman, a developer from Rock Hill, who unsuccessfully ran for the seat more than a decade ago, resigned his S.C. General Assembly seat representing York County when he decided to run for Congress. Norman vowed Monday to be a conservative in Washington.
Before Mulvaney won in 2010, the seat was held by Democrats for decades but the district has become increasingly conservative.
Pope, of York, a member of the S.C. General Assembly representing York County, is a former prosecutor and police officer with national name recognition after several high profile criminal cases including child-killer Susan Smith.
Pope, endorsed by Rep. Trey Gowdy of Spartanburg who is being considered for FBI director and many prosecutors and sheriffs in the state, said people making endorsements -- who have met both Norman and him -- have picked Pope as the choice. Pope said people know he is a tough conservative.
“People who know me, know both me and my opponent, have endorsed me,” Pope said.
Pope said, while holding nothing against his opponent picking up out-of-state endorsements, the support he has is from people who have known him and worked with him for three decades.
The winner faces Democrat Archie Parnell June 20.
Who can vote Tuesday?
Any registered voter in South Carolina Congressional District 5 can vote in today’s Republican primary runoff if you registered 30 days before May 2.
If you voted in the Democratic primary, you are not eligible to vote.
Polls are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Voters must have valid photo ID.
Source: York County Board of Voter Registration and Elections.