Leatherman retains Senate seat for District 31

Leatherman retains Senate seat for District 31

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Sen. Hugh Leatherman, the 36-year incumbent for District 31, won re-election in Tuesday's statewide primary, defeating Republican challengers Richard Skipper and Dean Fowler.

There are no Democrats running for the District 31 seat, so Leatherman's name will be the only one on November's general election ballot.

The Republican primary polls closed Tuesday night for the Republican race for the District 31 seat.

For the past 36 years, Leatherman has held that seat. Challengers Skipper, the former Florence County GOP chairman, and Fowler, the Florence County treasurer for the past 15 years, attempted to unseat him.

"Most of my constituents, (when) I go through the distric,t tell me they really are sorry a down-in-the-gutter type of campaign is what some of the candidates are running, but that's their business not my business." Leatherman said Tuesday after casting his vote. "Our campaign has been, and will be, positive. We do not run negative campaigns."

Back in March, when Skipper announced he was running for Senate, he said he didn't plan to go to Columbia and, "be serving when I'm 75 or 80 years old."

"I think leaders go up there, they build a path and encourage good people," he said. "Motivate folks and they build a path for other people to come behind them and serve."

The other candidate, Dean Fowler said, "This is for two things and two things only, power and control. People today do not have a favorable image of politicians. Last time I looked Congress had a less than 17 percent declining favorability rate."

Fowler said he is not a politician, and is proud of the treasury office he has run in Florence County.

"I've said I'll run and I will run," he said. "I've said I'll serve, but I'm not going to sell my honor and integrity to do it."

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.