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2 state House GOP colleagues advance in South Carolina race

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Two state House GOP colleagues will face off for the chance to replace former South Carolina Congressman Mick Mulvaney, while a former Goldman Sachs tax adviser won the Democratic nomination outright.

Democrat Archie Parnell defeated two military veterans Tuesday to advance to the special election June 20. He will face the Republican winner of the May 16 runoff between state House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope and former state Rep. Ralph Norman.

Winning a primary outright in South Carolina requires at least one vote over 50 percent.

The seat opened earlier this year when the U.S. Senate confirmed Mulvaney as White House budget director. Prior to Mulavaney’s 2010 election as part of a tea party wave, the seat was held by Democrats for more than 100 years. But it has trended more conservative since Mulvaney defeated longtime Democratic Congressman John Spratt, partly due to redistricting after the 2010 Census.

The district spans 11 counties, stretching north of Columbia to the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina, and east to Sumter County, home to Shaw Air Force Base.

Pope and Norman beat out five other Republicans.

Pope is the former chief prosecutor for York and Union counties. Voters first elected him to the state House in 2010.

Norman, a developer, resigned from his state seat earlier this year to concentrate on the congressional race. First sent to Columbia in 2004, he resigned two years later, when he unsuccessfully challenged Spratt. He was re-elected to his seat in 2008.

Parnell raised the most money by far among the three Democrats. He worked for 20 years at Goldman Sachs, where his positions included global head of tax policy, and 10 years as a tax attorney at ExxonMobil. He was previously an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

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