Rush Defeats Kennedy; McEachern Overpowers Young Gun Sullivan
A newcomer will vie for District 7 Council seat in November, while the incumbent prevails in the House District 77 race.
Democratic incumbent S.C. Rep. Joe McEachern cruised past his upstart rival, Chris Sullivan, to retain his District 77 House seat Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, fellow real estate broker and friend, political newcomer Torrey Rush, took down Richland County Council member Gwen Kennedy in District 7.
"I'm so proud of him," McEachern said of Rush. "He's a young man that's concerned about the community. I can't tell you, I'm just so proud of him."
Based on unofficial results, McEachern bested the 21-year-old Sullivan with more than 76 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Rush garnered 874 votes, versus Kennedy's 597.
Rush will now face Republican challenger Celestine W. Parker in November. McEachern has no general election opposition and is virtually assured re-election in the fall.
Rush said he received a gracious concession call from Kennedy, and said he thanked her for her service to the community.
Rush said his victory over Kennedy owed a lot to a vigorous grassroots campaign, much of it in neighborhoods considered Kennedy strongholds, especially her base of Meadowlake.
"We went door-to-door, and ran a genuine grassroots campaign ... and raised a lot of eyebrows," said Rush, who has served the past several years on the county's zoning board of appeals, but who has never held political office.
"I'm a former football player, so I'm competitive by nature," Rush said. "Whenever I'm playing, I always play to win. Nevertheless, we knew that with Miss Kennedy, this being her second time in office, she had a base. We knew we had to go after her base in order to compete. And we did that.
"Am I surprised that we won? We were in this race to win, and I'm excited that we did," Rush added. "It was a good win."
Neither Sullivan or Kennedy could be reached for comment Tuesday night. However, Kennedy told The State newspaper that despite the loss, her political career isn't over.
“Oh, no. Don’t count me out,” she told the paper. “I have a few good years left.”