Attention on Graham, state officers in SC primary

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WIS) - Polls have opened as South Carolinians decide the candidates for a number of state and federal races.

The attention in Tuesday's voting is on U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, as well as races for constitutional offices in Republican and Democratic primaries.

Graham is seeking the GOP nomination for a third term but must get by six primary challengers who say he's not conservative enough. He's been able to draw on a $7 million campaign fund, and one of the questions is whether he can win the nomination in a seven-way race without a runoff.

Voters also are selecting nominees for the state's other U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Tim Scott, who was appointed in 2012 to fill the unexpired term of Jim DeMint.

The Republican race for lieutenant governor in South Carolina features the son of a popular governor, a retired Kiawah Island developer, a former attorney general, and a retired Army chaplain.

Voters will choose between Mike Campbell, Pat McKinney, Henry McMaster and Ray Moore. If one fails to get more than 50 percent of the votes, the top two candidates will square off June 24.

All four want to boost the prominence of a job largely viewed as ceremonial, calling the No. 2 spot the state's most underutilized office.

They are vying for a job soon to be vacated by Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, whose new job as president of the College of Charleston starts July 1.

The primary winner will face Democratic state Rep. Bakari Sellers in November.

South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis is seeking a second term against political newcomer Brian Adams.

The winner of Tuesday's Republican primary essentially wins the job of chief financial officer. As in 2010, no Democrat is running.

The office's duties include paying state government's bills and overseeing the Future Scholar college savings program. The treasurer is also chairman of the board that regulates state banks and lenders.

Loftis has spent much of his tenure fighting with the Retirement Systems Investment Commission, the agency that invests South Carolina's pension portfolio, and his fellow commissioners. The treasurer is the board's only elected member.

Adams says he wants to take a more cooperative approach. The information technology consultant holds a bachelor's degree in computer science.

Loftis holds an associate's degree in retail management.

Voters are reminded to take photo identification to the polls Tuesday. If a voter has a photo I.D. and doesn't take it to the polling site, he or she can still vote but will have to provide that photo I.D. to the election commission before the votes are certified Thursday, according to Chris Whitmire with the South Carolina Election Commission.

If a voter does not have a photo I.D. but has an old voter registration card, that person can cast a provisional ballot by signing an affidavit confirming their identity but couldn't get an I.D. The ballot will count unless someone can prove the voter's identity is false.

The polls close at 7 p.m. Count on WIS to bring you the results as soon as the local elections boards release them.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.