House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn will again be the Democratic candidate for South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, handily defeating his two primary challengers, while Walterboro attorney Duke Buckner led in the race for the Republican Party’s nomination.
If Buckner wins, he will face long odds in the November general election as he takes on the 81-year-old long-standing Democrat incumbent as he runs for his 16th term. The district stretches from Clyburn’s home in Columbia to the tip of the historic mansions of the Charleston Battery since redistricting.
The Associated Press called the race early for Clyburn, who has served more than 30 years in office. He led the race with roughly 90 percent of the reported votes as of 9 p.m.
Clyburn has faced few fierce challengers in any of his races since his first win three decades ago, the same year Bill Clinton won the presidency.
In this most recent primary, he beat out Gregg Marcel Dixon, a teacher at a Lowcountry charter school, and Michael Addison, who has had various careers ranging from chiropractor to tow truck operator and insurance adjuster.
Both challengers questioned Clyburn’s record of bettering the district, with continuously high high poverty rates and poor-performing school districts within the state’s so-called “Corridor of Shame” along Interstate 95.
Buckner, who led over Charleston consultant A. Sonia Morris with about 73 percent of reported votes at 9 p.m., last ran against Lindsey Graham for U.S. Senate two years ago.
His campaign materials echoed criticisms lobbed at Clyburn by his two Democratic opponents, saying the district “has been stagnant economically for the last 30 years with low wages, increased crime and failing schools.”