JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Margie Bright Matthews has won the Democratic primary runoff for the District 45 seat formerly held by Sen. Clementa Pinckney.
Matthews faced Kenneth F. Hodges in Tuesday's election.
According to unofficial results, Matthews received 3,906 votes, while Hodges got 3,040 votes.
Matthews released the following statement:
"First of all, I want to thank all the voters in District 45 for casting their ballots today. I look forward to seeing them at the polls in the General Election on October 20th.
"I also want to thank the hundreds of people that gave their time, money, prayers, encouragement and support during this journey. You are the heart and soul of our community, and I will forever be grateful to you.
"Most importantly, I want to thank the family of Senator Clementa Pinckney. Five months ago, our community was shocked and deeply hurt by the hateful acts that made this election necessary. Your leadership and example has inspired the low country, our state and the entire country. I will continue to strive to follow in the example of Senator Pinckney during this campaign and as a State Senator.
"Tonight, I want to thank the voters of District 45 for nominating me as their Democratic Nominee for Senate. Over the last few months, I have traveled our district, listening to their vision for our future and sharing my vision for making our future bright. I can honestly say that our district is made up of the brightest, hardest working and optimistic people in South Carolina. Together, we are going to make our future bright."
The seat represents Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Colleton, Charleston, and Allendale counties.
Matthews will take on Republican Al Ferndandez in a general election on Oct. 20.
The winning candidate will fill the remainder of Pinckney's term.
Pinckney was one of the nine people shot and killed in the massacre at the Mother Emanuel AME Church, where he served as pastor, on June 17.
Polls open at 7 a.m., and close at 7 p.m.