Polls open, candidates vote as GOP Gov. race takes center stage

Nikki Haley casts her vote Tuesday.
Nikki Haley casts her vote Tuesday.
Nikki Haley casts her vote Tuesday.
Nikki Haley casts her vote Tuesday.
Greshem Barrett votes Tuesday
Greshem Barrett votes Tuesday

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Election Commission is expecting a large turnout for Tuesday's primary and that is no surprise considering all the talk surrounding a publicly heated governor's race.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will remain open until 7 p.m. Expect long lines at some precincts.

Experts predict that more people will vote Tuesday than they did in the 2006 primary because of all the drama surrounding the race for South Carolina governor.

Candidates for that race were out at the polls early to cast their votes. State Sen. Vincent Sheheen voted around 7:30 a.m. in Camden and said that he thinks the fight for the democratic nomination will be a close one.

State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex, another democratic candidate, cast his ballot in Ridgeway around 10 a.m. Rex and Sheheen are up against state Senator Robert Ford.

State Rep. Nikki Haley locked in her vote just after 9 a.m. her opponent on the republican side include State Attorney General Henry McMaster, who voted in Columbia around 10 a.m., Congressman Gresham Barrett and Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. Bauer voted last week with an absentee ballot.

GOP candidates for governor were busy Monday night doing some last-minute campaigning.

"Whoever the next governor is, they are going to have to be tireless," Bauer said. "And I think you've seen the fact that the last three days, I've covered all 46 counties. Up till over (3 a.m. Sunday night), back on the road at six (Monday morning)."

Bauer made headlines Monday by releasing the results of a lie detector test he took to prove that he had nothing to do with personal attacks against Haley.

Two men say they had physical relationships with Haley. The claims were unsubstantiated and she denied them.

McMaster was in the news at the end of May when authorities announced a death threat against the state's attorney general. McMaster was also out campaigning Monday night.

"In fact of all the candidates," he said. "I've gotten more important legislation passed, major legislation passed and accomplished and put into place and executed that all my opponents put together."

Barrett has managed to stay out of the news for anything other than his attempt at running for governor.

"My strategy personally is to run through the tape (Tuesday)," Barrett said. "Just to work as hard as we can to ensure that we get to the runoff. My political gurus and those guys, now they're thinking ahead, they're getting all that stuff ready. I'll let them worry about that. I'm worried about finishing strong."

Also on the ballot is a question concerning healthcare reform. South Carolina will ask voters if the state should reject the controversial healthcare reform. The results are expected to be a toss up.

You can stay current with all the news and results from Tuesday's primary on Live5News.com and on Live 5 and Live 5+.

We will bring you the latest results throughout the day and starting at 4 p.m. you can log on to our live chat at Live5News.com and chat directly with anchors and producers from Raycom stations across the state.

Starting at 10 p.m. we will have 90 minutes of non-stop coverage on Live 5+.

And don't forget, you can get live results as they come in at Live5News.com and we will have results on Live 5 News at 11 p.m.

©2010 WCSC. All rights reserved.