Voters in State Senate District 42 head back to the polls today to choose between attorney Marlon Kimpson and former City Councilman Maurice Washington to determine the Democratic candidate for October's special election to replace departed State Sen. Robert Ford. The winner of today's runoff, triggered because none of the six Democrats earned a majority of votes in the August 13 election, will face Republican Billy Shuman and Libertarian Alex Thornton on October 1. Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To find out if you live in District 42, check here. To find your polling place, check here.
After the general election in which Kimpson garnered 44% of the vote, he also snapped up the endorsements of his former Democratic opponents, Herb Fielding, Margaret Rush, and Emmanuel Ferguson.
Earlier this month, City Paper staff writer Paul Bowers profiled each of the candidates. Here's what we said about Kimpson and Washington:
"The Party Favorite"
The list of high-profile endorsements for attorney Marlon Kimpson seems to grow longer every day: Conservation Voters of South Carolina. State Rep. Wendell Gilliard. The International Longshoremen's Association. Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon.
What's all the fuss about? For one thing, Kimpson has served as first vice chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party and chairman of the State Election Commission. Kimpson's fundraising campaign is also blowing all the other candidates out of the water, with nearly $80,000 in contributions as of July 10. His closest opponent, Maurice Washington, had raised just $24,700 at the time.
After financial consultant and former Charleston City Councilman Maurice Washington showed up at the Charleston County Democratic Party office to inquire about filing for the District 42 primary, party chairman Richard Hricik sent out a press release announcing that he would accept the filing, but only because he was "legally obligated to do so."
"If and when Mr. Washington files, I ask that no Democrat in District 42 or otherwise support him in any way," Hricik said. Why the acrimony? For starters, Washington has previously run for the state legislature as a Republican. Washington has also donated to the campaigns of Republicans Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Chip Limehouse, and Chip Campsen. And in an April letter of support for Washington's re-election to the S.C. State University Board of Trustees, then-Sen. Robert Ford described Washington as "a faithful and dedicated Republican since 1984."