MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Republican Horry County Council Chairman Tim Rice became South Carolina's newest congressman Tuesday by defeating Democrat Gloria Bromell Tinubu in the state's new 7th Congressional District in the northeastern corner of the state.
Elsewhere, South Carolina's four freshmen Republicans easily won new terms while 20-year incumbent Democrat Jim Clyburn was also returned to Washington. Incumbent Republican Joe Wilson, representing the state's 2nd District, was unopposed.
"Romney, Ryan and Rice," Rice shouted to more than 100 cheering supporters gathered at a Myrtle Beach restaurant for a victory party. "We have to remember this is just the beginning."
He said he would get to work starting Wednesday on the one of the most pressing problems in the district — unemployment. He said the district includes the two counties in South Carolina with the highest unemployment.
Bromell Tinubu, 59, a Coastal Carolina University professor, served on both the Atlanta City Council and in the Georgia legislature before returning to her native South Carolina last year. Her campaign said she would have no immediate statement on the loss and would wait until all the votes were counted.
In the June primary, she trounced the party establishment choice for the nomination, Myrtle Beach attorney Preston Brittain.
But the district is largely Republican and was drawn after population growth reflected in the 2010 Census again gave the state a seventh House member. The new district reaches from the high-rise hotels of Myrtle Beach west to Florence and up to the North Carolina state line. South Carolina lost the seat after the 1930 Census.
In the 1st District along the southern coast, Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Scott easily defeated Bobbie Rose, a Democrat making her first run for political office. Scott is the first black Republican congressman elected in the state since Reconstruction.
Congressmen Trey Gowdy and Mick Mulvaney also defeated Democratic newcomers.
Gowdy defeated Democrat Deb Marrow and Green Party candidate Jeff Sumerel in the 4th District in Greenville and Spartanburg counties. In the 5th District running from the Midlands north to the North Carolina line, Mulvaney easily defeated Joyce Knott, a Democratic activist who was making her first run for political office. Knott once worked for John Spratt, the longtime Democratic congressman who Mulvaney ousted two years ago.
Freshman Republican Jeff Duncan defeated Democrat radio talk show host Brian "Ryan B" Doyle for a second term in the 3rd District in the state's northwest corner. Doyle was making his second bid for the seat after losing the Democratic primary two years ago. He said he was forthcoming about a 2003 felony conviction for Medicare fraud that resulted in a 30-month prison term.
Clyburn, who represents the state's black-majority 6th District reaching from the Pee Dee down the Interstate 95 corridor to the Georgia State line, easily defeated third Green Party candidate Nammu Muhammad. Clyburn had almost 95 percent of the vote. It was, though, a better showing for Muhammad who got less than 1 percent in a three-way race in the district two years ago.