South Carolina party officials, lawmakers react to Biden’s win

SC party officials, lawmakers recat to Biden's win

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - At 11:25 a.m. Saturday, following four long days of counting, the Associated Press projected former Vice President Joe Biden had won the state of Pennsylvania.

That win pushed him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election and become President-elect.

Local reactions began pouring in Saturday from both sides of the aisle. Horry County GOP Chair Dreama Purdue said she also thinks the race shouldn’t be called yet.

“The President has lots of people on the ground, in these targeted states and he’s still working on it," she added.

But for Horry County Democratic Party Vice Chair Barbara Hake, the moment was emotional.

“Can’t forget to do a shoutout to Congressman Clyburn. If we remember correctly, it started here in South Carolina,” she said.

Some political analysts, much like Hake, also believe Biden’s path to the White House began taking root in The Palmetto State.

“What you saw happen in South Carolina, in the primary for Joe Biden, is exactly what helped propel him to the presidency," said Dr. Holly Tankersly, a political scientist at Coastal Carolina University. “And that is a more diverse coalition of voters. You’ve got to think about the fact that Iowa and New Hampshire are not terribly representative of the American population from a racial and ethnic perspective.”

She also said the endorsement from House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who represents South Carolina’s sixth Congressional district, was crucial for President-elect Biden.

“Between the diverse coalition, and the depth of those relationships, with people like Jim Clyburn, who know how to turn out voters in South Carolina, really played to his advantage," said Tankersly.

Rep. Clyburn, who won his bid for reelection on Tuesday, offered a statement on Twitter, congratulating Biden and saying his victory “marks a new chapter for our country.”

Clyburn also congratulated Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in a subsequent tweet.

Reactions from fellow Democrats also came through social media soon after the race was called.

Jaime Harrison, who lost his bid to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham on Election Day, also chimed in on Twitter.

But despite those congratulations, many Republicans have stated the presidency is still up in the air.

Congressman Tom Rice said he’s not ready to accept Biden as the President-elect just yet.

“There are legitimate issues that need to be ferreted out a little bit before this is all finalized," he said in an interview on Saturday.

Rice later added that if Biden’s votes are certified by the states, he would work with him as president.

Other GOP members of Congress from South Carolina also weighed in on Twitter.

Rep. Joe Wilson, who represents South Carolina’s second Congressional district, said the election isn’t over “until every legal ballot is counted.”

Rep. Jeff Duncan, who represents the state’s third Congressional district, also released a statement saying the law declares who wins the election.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.