MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – For the first time, registered voters in the Grand Strand and the Pee Dee spoke out to elect a congressman from a field of their own.
When the polls closed on Election Day, preliminary results declared current Chairman of Horry County Council Tom Rice the victor, gaining 55 percent of the votes (with 77 percent of precincts reporting) and defeating Dr. Gloria Bromell Tinubu, according to the AP.
"The hard work is just getting ready to start," Rice said in his acceptance speech at Longbeards in Carolina Forest where his crowd of supporters are celebrating.
Late Tuesday night Dr. Gloria Bromell Tinubu stated, "We're still hopeful we can pull this out." However, Tinubu conceded Rice's victory Wednesday morning, just before 8 a.m.
When all the votes were finally counted the South Carolina Election Commission's website reported GOP nominee Tom Rice gained 63.9 percent of vote, compared to the 35.8 percent of ballots cast for Dr. Gloria Bromell Tinubu.
The results from Tuesday's election are unofficial until certified on Thursday, November 8. See the LIVE election results on WMBFNews.com.
The 7th Congressional District, forged from Chesterfield, Marlboro, Darlington, Florence, Dillon, Marion, Horry and Georgetown counties, is new to the ballot in 2012.
This Congressional District seat, District 7, drew Republican and Democrat candidates from all walks of life, and the campaigns were interesting to say the very least.
The race for this seat began with a wide field of candidates, totaling nine Republicans and four Democrats which met in several debates leading up to the primary elections on June 12.
On June 12, the Republican candidates Andre Bauer, Tom Rice, Jay Jordan, Chad Prosser, Dick Withington, Renee Culler, Jim Mader, Katherine Jenerette and Randal Wallace met on the ballot. With a voter turnout of around 14% statewide, votes were dispersed among the nine, forcing front runners Bauer and Rice into a run-off election to determine the GOP nominee.
While the Democratic ballot was less crowded, it offered its own controversy. Candidates Dr. Gloria Bromell Tinubu, Preston Brittain, Parnell Diggs and Harry Pavilack vied for the Democratic nomination on June 12.
Council Chairman Tom Rice and Dr. Gloria Bromell Tinubu were the victories of run-offs following their respective primaries and prepared to square off in November's election to be the first representative in Congress from the 7th Congressional District.