Outlook: Likely Republican
November 8, 2006 Update:
As the Crystal Ball predicted, Republican Mark Sanford won re-election over Democrat Tommy Moore with 55% of the vote.
July 15, 2006 Update:
Republican Governor Mark Sanford got a bit of a surprise when his little-know, lightly-funded challenger Oscar Lovelace received over 35 percent of the vote in the GOP primary. This was much less an endorsement of Lovelace, as it was a warning to Sanford to get focused and clean up his act–quite literally, since everyone remembers the governor bringing two pigs to the state capitol building to make a point about the legislature’s excessive spending. The problem for Sanford is that the legislature is controlled by his fellow Republicans.
The Democratic nominee for November will be state senator Tommy Moore, who defeated his two opponents in a landslide–securing close to two-thirds of the vote. Moore is a long shot, but not a long-long shot, and after Sanford’s weak primary performance Republicans must shore up their incumbent’s support before the fall.
The Democratic Party is as bruised and battered in the Palmetto State as it is in any state in the union. So despite a mixed first term, Governor Mark Sanford (R) is a substantial favorite for reelection in 2006. Several state legislators were mentioned as possible Democratic contenders, and the main benefit to the nominee may well be increased name recognition for a future run at statewide office.
Some Democrats believed that retiring State Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum, the 2004 U.S. Senate nominee, would surprise everyone and challenge Sanford, but it did not came to pass. As of the June 13 primary, the Democratic nominee is State Senator Tommy Moore, who won handily in a three-way race.