Incumbents from York County easily brushed off challenges Tuesday to retain seats in the S.C. House of Representatives, according to unofficial election returns.
Republicans seeking to hold onto seats who faced challengers for the first time in years from Democrats during national midterm races still won handily, state election commission unofficial results showed Tuesday night.
York County’s sole female legislator and sole black legislator retained their seats.
Republican Tommy Pope, the former York County solicitor who became a national figure when he prosecuted child killer Susan Smith in 1995, easily defeated Democratic challenger Marty Cotton in the District 47 race that covers Lake Wylie, Clover and York.
Pope had more than 70 percent of the vote, S.C. Election Commission totals showed. Pope thanked his supporters and the community for his landslide victory.
“I appreciate the trust our community has placed in me,” Pope said Tuesday after the election. “I will work hard to continue to earn that trust.”
Republican Raye Felder, the only female member of the York County delegation, defeated Democrat John Kraljevich to retain the District 26 seat that covers much of the area around Fort Mill.
Felder won by double-digits, with more than 56 percent of votes.
The only Democrat incumbent in the York County legislative delegation also easily won re-election. John King of Rock Hill defeated challenger Johnny Walker of the American Party for the District 49 seat that covers parts of Rock Hill, York, and areas in southern York County.
King, past chairman of the South Carolina black caucus in the legislature, took in more than 80 percent of the vote, election commission totals showed.
Bruce Bryant, a Republican elected in District 48 in 2017 after 20 years as York County sheriff, handily beat Democrat Vickie Holt to retain the seat the covers parts of Rock Hill, Lake Wylie and Tega Cay.
Bryant received more than 60 percent of the vote.
Gary Simrill of Rock Hill, House Majority leader for the Republicans, who has been in office in District 46 for a quarter century, defeated Democrat Carl Kenny Dicks. Simrill won by more than 20 percentage points, election commission totals showed.
The only new face in the delegation belongs to Republican Randy Ligon of Chester, who defeated Democrat Tom Hawk of Rock Hill in District 43. That district covers Chester County and part of York County.
Ligon had more than 70 percent of the votes in the race. That seat opened up when longtime Republican lawmaker Greg Delleney of Chester chose not to seek re-election.
In District 45 that covers some of northeastern York County and Indian Land in Lancaster County, incumbent Republican Brandon Newton easily defeated Democratic challenger Corin Buskey.
Republican incumbents Dennis Moss of Gaffney, in District 29 that covers part of western York County, and Steve Moss of Blacksburg, whose District 30 also has part of western York County, both won after running unopposed.
In Lancaster County, Democrat incumbent Mandy Powers Norrell, unsuccessful in her bid to become lieutenant governor, kept her seat in District 44 where she ran unopposed.
Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald