HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Based on preliminary, unofficial results, the Associated Press is projecting incumbent Tom Rice will be re-elected to serve as the representative for South Carolina's 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rice, a Republican, had 59 percent of the vote with 25 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night in a rematch against Democratic challenger Gloria Bromell-Tinubu. The 57-year-old Charleston native celebrated his victory at Longbeards Bar and Grill in Myrtle Beach.Bromell Tinubu is a former Atlanta City councilwoman and Georgia lawmaker was seeking to become the first black woman elected to Congress in South Carolina.
Federal Election Commission filings show that Rice spent about $700,000 on the campaign, about a half-million dollars more than Tinubu. Her filings show she spent about $200,000. She also had debts of about $350,000 from the campaign of two years ago.
Rice is currently serving his first two-year term after winning the election to Congress in 2012. He defeated seven challengers in the Republican primary on June 12, 2012, and defeated major rival Andre Bauer in a run-off election on June 26. He went on to defeat Tinubu the first time in the general election on November 6.
Rice addressed the crowd of supporters at his victory party in Carolina Forest and told them he is headed back to Washington, D.C. to work with both sides of Congress.
"This is a historic night and it will determine the course of our country," added Rice. "We're gonna have to work together in the end if we're gonna go forward we must find a way to work together."
According the Horry County poll workers, the number of voters was surprisingly high compared to years past almost comparable to a Presidential election. Rice also noticed the high turnout.
"People are very upset with the economic policies of that came out of Washington," said Rice. "They want to see us having a policy that creates jobs and lifts everyone."