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SC’s 1st Congressional District: Race Update

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Following the defeat of Rep. Mark Sanford in the 2018 Republican primary, the 1st Congressional District race has appeared increasingly competitive. State representative Katie Arrington emerged victorious in the closely-contested Republican primary and will face Democrat Joe Cunningham in the general election.

Arrington is a one-term state legislator and small businesswoman from Summerville. She was injured in a fatal car crash in June and has been recuperating over the past few months. Arrington received the endorsement of the President in her race against Rep. Sanford after accusing Sanford of being insufficiently supportive of the President’s agenda. She has previously supported offshore drilling; however, she now claims to oppose drilling off the coast.

Cunningham is a newcomer to politics, having worked as an ocean engineer and attorney in the past. He has made his opposition to offshore drilling a central issue of the campaign so far, receiving cross-party endorsements from the mayors of Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Awendaw, and Folly Beach as a result. If elected, Cunningham would be the first Democrat elected to the 1st Congressional District in almost 40 years.

The 1st Congressional District stretches from McClellanville to Hilton Head, including most of the Charleston suburbs. The election this fall is expected to be a component of the Democratic attempt to take back the House of Representatives. Polling thus far finds a 7-point race, though Arrington has the edge with just under two months to go.

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