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5th District Race recount commences this morning

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By Travis Jenkins

A race that has already been extended for two weeks by a runoff has now been extended three additional days because of a recount.

On May 2, a Republican and Democratic Primaries for the vacant 5th District U.S. House seat (formerly held by Mick Mulvaney, now President Donald Trump’s budget director) was held. Archie Parnell easily won the Democratic Primary, but two Republicans separated themselves from a large pack of candidates and had a near photo finish: Ralph Norman and Tommy Pope. Norman, 63, who is from Rock Hill, is president of Warren Norman and Co, a real estate development firm. He has previously served in the S.C. House of Representatives. Pope, 54, who lives in York, is an attorney, a former SLED agent and former 16th circuit solicitor. He serves in the S.C. House of Representatives. Pope had 11,900 votes (30.39 percent), to Norman’s 11,782 votes (30.09 percent). In Chester County, Pope enjoyed a slightly larger margin of victory (557 to 443, or 114 votes). With neither crossing the 5- percent-plus-one threshold, a runoff was held Tuesday and the results were similarly close. Norman is the projected winner with 17,823 votes to Pope’s 17,602. That is just over half a percentage point difference (50.31 percent to 49.69 percent). The unofficial totals in Chester had Pope with 680 to Norman’s 565. Because the race was so close, a mandatory recount was automatically triggered. According to SCVotes.org, the recount will commence this morning at 10:30. The winner will face Parnell next month.