Creighton Coleman and Leah Moody face off Tuesday in a state Senate runoff that pits Coleman's native roots in Fairfield County against Moody's strength in the Rock Hill area where her family is well known.
Coleman and Moody were the top vote-getters in the June 10 primary, eliminating third-place finisher Michael Squirewell to advance to the runoff. District 17 includes all of Chester and Fairfield counties and parts of York and Union counties.
Coleman, a member of the state House, has won endorsements from Squirewell and incumbent state Sen. Linda Short, who is retiring at the end of her term as the only woman in the Senate.
"The whole thing is turnout," Coleman said on Saturday. "Of course we're worried about it. But we've done everything we can. I feel OK about where we are."
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Coleman edged Moody in the primary, earning 47 percent compared to her 37 percent. Neither candidate earned the required 50 percent, plus one, because Squirewell netted 15 percent.
"He's known in Fairfield," said Moody, the daughter of retiring state Rep. Bessie Moody-Lawrence. "That's where he's from. I grew up here. It's even. It depends on who gets their people out."
Moody, a Rock Hill attorney and former staff member for S.C. Gov. Jim Hodges, has endured a difficult week with the death of her stepfather. "It's nothing you can't handle as long as you walk on faith," she said.
Moody has said her goals are improving education funding, aiding health care and creating jobs.
Coleman focuses on keeping taxes low and putting the rural southern part of the district into good position to land industrial prospects.
Turnout in runoff elections can often be as little as half of the votes cast in a primary. That means the race could be decided by a few hundred votes.
The winner of Tuesday's primary runoff will face Republican Mark Bennett in November's general election.