COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina Democrats have held on to a State Senate seat in one of the hottest contested statewide elections in 2016.
Rep. Mia McLeod has defeated former two-term Richland County Councilwoman Susan Brill to fill the seat of retiring state Sen. Joel Lourie.
Lourie, who has held the Senate District 22 seat since 2004, announced he would not be seeking re-election after 16 years as a lawmaker.
The District 22 race has been contentious from the beginning with negative ads from Republican and Democratic Senate Caucuses.
"I would've thought that she had a record that she could run on and not focus on me," McLeod said. "I didn't expect the negativity and definitely not so soon after the campaign really got going, but that's what it's been from day one and it continues to be that way. I'm not sure why it has become so personal and so nasty with her campaign."
"The main difference between my opponent and me is temperament," Brill said. "I am the kind of person who respects people. I respect people that I don't agree with, but I try to work with folks to take care of the issues for resolution to move forward on the issues. Do what's best for the people. Sadly, she has been divisive in her blogs. We are two different people. The difference is temperament."
McLeod said she will be a fighting voice for voters. She promised to keep pushing to close the pay gap for working women and correct problems at the state Department of Social Services.
The South Carolina General Assembly convenes in January 2017.