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Republican Ralph Norman gives a thumbs up to supporters at a campaign party in Rock Hill, S.C., Tuesday, June 20, 2017, after winning the South Carolina's 5th Congressional District. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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The Latest: Minimal DNC role may have helped Democrat in SC

Republican Ralph Norman gives a thumbs up to supporters at a campaign party in Rock Hill, S.C., Tuesday, June 20, 2017, after winning the South Carolina's 5th Congressional District. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a special election for the South Carolina congressional seat held by Mick Mulvaney (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

Republicans held onto Mick Mulvaney’s South Carolina congressional seat in Tuesday’s special election, but by a narrower margin than they may have expected.

The seat opened up after Mulvaney was confirmed as White House budget director. In his 2016 re-lection, Mulvaney trounced his Democratic challenger by more than 20 percent.

Ralph Norman won this week by less than 4 percent. Many have compared South Carolina’s 5th District to Georgia’s 6th, where national Democrats funneled millions of dollars in an unsuccessful effort to turn that seat blue.

But it may have been the national party’s absence from the South Carolina race that boosted Democratic candidate Archie Parnell’s showing. College of Charleston political scientist Gibbs Knotts says more national party activity in this deep red state may have turned centrist voters away.

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3:30 a.m.

Republicans have retained control of Mick Mulvaney’s U.S. House seat, with Ralph Norman winning a special election victory in South Carolina that was closer than expected.

The GOP had strong hopes it would hold onto South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District. President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton there by more than 18 percentage points. Mulvaney rode a tea party wave to victory in the 5th District in 2010, defeating a three-decade Democratic incumbent.

Norman, a former state lawmaker who aligns himself with Trump, says support from the president resonated positively with voters. Trump recorded a robocall in support of Norman’s campaign and sent out Twitter messages encouraging voters to back him.

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