One week until 5th Congressional District Special Election in SC - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

One week until 5th Congressional District Special Election in SC

(Kristi O'Connor | WBTV) (Kristi O'Connor | WBTV)
YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) -

There is just one week left of campaigning for those vying to fill the 5th Congressional District seat of South Carolina. It was left vacant by Republican Mick Mulvaney when President Trump nominated him as budget director.

York County election officials say this is the first time in York County's history that a special election is held on a Congressional level. They say there was only about a 14 percent voter turnout in York County during the primary, which is higher than the 12 percent voter turnout the entire district had. Election officials say York County voters carried 42 percent of the 5th district’s votes.

“I want to make sure things get done in Washington,” York County voter Royce Currence said.

Currence says he headed to the voting booth because of concern over healthcare coverage.

“My wife is still under the Affordable Care Act, and it’s been working pretty well for us now, and I hope that the changes they make don’t disrupt it too much,” Currence said.

In the final week of campaigning, Democratic candidate Archie Parnell made a stop at a summer camp for children in Rock Hill. There he said that healthcare was one of the first issues he would like to tackle as congressman.

“What the Republicans are doing is throwing the baby out with the bath water, nothing is perfect from the beginning. We can improve things,” Parnell said.

It is the first time Parnell is running for public office, but he says he will bring a well-rounded background to Washington. He has formerly worked for the U.S. Justice Department and for the House Ways and Means Committee, as well as working for several private companies.

“I have a combination of government experience and business experience, and I think that together could benefit the constituents of District 5,” Parnell said.

His opponent, Republican Ralph Norman, is no stranger to politics. He served as South Carolina’s House representative for District 48, prior to running for Congress. When former Republican Congressman Mick Mulvaney was nominated to be President Trump’s budget director, he could not turn down the opportunity to run for the vacant House seat.

“We have a real opportunity in South Carolina, we’ve a real opportunity to do good things, to promote conservative values,” Norman said. “I can’t think of a better time than now, particularly with Republicans controlling the House, the Senate, and the Executive Branch. So it’s a good time in America and a great time in South Carolina.”

As a fiscal conservative, he says most of the country’s problems stem from overspending. He says if elected, he will bring his experience in business to reduce government spending.

“To be 20 trillion in debt, I’m not willing to leave that to my grandchildren, so I think becoming financially solvent,” Norman said.

Norman left his State House seat to run for Congress, so there will also be a state house district 48 seat on the ballot for some voters on Tuesday. Republican Bruce Bryant and Democrat Bebs Barron Chorak are running to fill that seat.

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