According to the Charleston Post and Courier, Colbert Busch has nearly 97 percent of all 8,402 Democratic ballots cast in the district, handily defeating her opposition, Ben Frasier.
The primary is for a special election to fill the seat of Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who was appointed to the Senate to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, who resigned to head the Heritage Foundation. Sanford held the seat from 1995 to 2001. No Democrat has won the 1st District since 1978.
Colbert Bush has a strong political ally in her comedian brother Stephen Colbert. The host of “The Colbert Report” has announced that he will do whatever it takes to help his sister win, even if it means breaking character. Typically, Colbert very rarely breaks from his over-the-top parody of an archconservative pundit.
"I'm willing to, you know, break the jewel of my own creation to try to do something for her," Colbert told the Los Angeles Times. "Like I'm not worried about what it would do to me or my show to try to help her as myself, not as my character, to help her as myself. And you know, if people think that's not the right thing for me to do, I don't care. It's my sister, and I'm willing to help her."
Polls closed at 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday. Returns are incomplete, with only Charleston County reporting in so far. There are still four other counties in the district, but Colbert Busch’s strong lead makes her the likely winner. Both USA Today and CNN have projected Colbert Busch as the winner.
On the Republican side, Sanford has earned a spot in the Republican runoff election, South Carolina media report. The Post and Courier reports that Sanford is in the lead with 40 percent of the votes, totaling in at 804 votes. In second place is Curtis Bostic with 404 votes and 19 percent. A distant third place contender is Chip Limehouse with 9 percent. If Sanford can win the election with more than 50 percent of the vote, he can avoid the runoff election entirely.
Sanford was governor of South Carolina from 2003 to 2011 and seemed destined for bigger things before a 2009 sex scandal. Between June 18 and June 24, 2009, Sanford disappeared, telling staffers that he would be hiking along the Appalachian Trail. In reality, Sanford was in Argentina engaging in an extramarital affair. His wife divorced him, but he served out his term.
“We all hope for a second chance. I believe in a God of second chances,” Sanford told the Associated Press. “On a professional level, we have had a couple of months to talk about the issues. In that regard it has been a treat and a blessing.”