HD-79 set to turn from red to blue (maybe)

Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

The retirement of Rep. Bill Cotty in HD-79 (Columbia/Northeast Richland/Kershaw) looked, at the first glance, to be a bad thing for House Republicans. Also, it’s always a shame to lose a good guy in the General Assembly, no matter what party they are or what their ideology is (or lack thereof).

Before he retired, Cotty expressed that if he did step down, it would mean that the district would likely go Democratic in the next cycle. Community organizer and political consultant Anton Gunn, who gave Cotty a run for his money the last time, announced for the seat.

Gunn, having been a leader in Sen. Barack Obama’s big win in the South Carolina Democratic Primary, had then, and still has, a lot of people believing that if the seat can be flipped, he’s the guy to do it.

The Republican Primary battle for the seat was a little strange. Sheri Few, a leader of S.C. Parents Involved in Education, an SCRG ally and a first-class nut, seemed like she would get the nomination, what with her money and initial showing. But, in the runoff, moderate (well, anybody put next to Few looks moderate) David Herndon pulled the upset. Few’s people didn’t get out to vote, and Herndon put together an excellent GOTV operation.

Now, Republicans that may have crossed over in the event of a Few nomination could be staying with the party. Plus, no one can discount Herndon’s ground game after his performance in the runoff. Going into the last of the disclosures (Oct. 15 reports), Gunn leads Herndon in cash-on-hand by 2-to-1, and has been massively outspending his opponent.

It still remains to be seen whether Gunn, in what should be his bailiwick, can combine a good ground game with his money advantage, and whether Herndon can keep district Republicans at home while recreating his runoff upset.

David Herndon (R)
3Q $ raised: $14,085
3Q $ spent: $9,289.16
Cash on hand: $5,024.48

Anton Gunn (D)
3Q $ raised: $43,215.23
3Q $ spent: $58,131.68
Cash on hand: $11,410.03


1 Response to “HD-79 set to turn from red to blue (maybe)”

  1. 1 P.W.
    October 27, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Herndon had no ground game. He was a one-man-show who was anti-voucher. We came back to make sure Few and her voucher crowd wouldn’t win. We were voting against her, not for him. Plus, everyone in Kershaw County knows Herndon and he doesn’t have a prayer.

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