Former Gov. Mark Sanford will likely face former Charleston County councilman Curtis Bostic in a GOP runoff for an open congressional seat, after state Sen. Larry Grooms conceded second place Wednesday to Bostic. Grooms conceded in the crowded GOP primary in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District even though a recount of the votes, required by state law, will be held later this week. In unofficial returns Tuesday, Bostic edged out Grooms for second place by 493 votes. Sanford was the top vote-getter among Republicans. “The margin is too big to recover from, but state law will still govern the mandatory recount,” Grooms said Wednesday. “It’s highly, highly unlikely that any errors could overturn a 400-vote margin.”
Grooms said he sent congratulatory messages late Tuesday to both Bostic and Sanford, who apparently now advance to the April 2 GOP runoff.
Sanford, waging a political comeback after his career was sidelined by his revelation of an extramarital affair four years ago, was more than 12,000 votes ahead of Bostic out of more than 53,000 cast.
“The two top vote-getters will go on and one of them will be the Republican nominee going against a very formidable Democrat,” Grooms said.
The Democratic nominee is Elizabeth Colbert Bush, the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert. She swamped perennial candidate Ben Frasier Tuesday.