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Rep. James Smith clinches Democratic nomination after landslide

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Columbia, S.C. (WACH) -- South Carolina State Representative James Smith secured the Democratic party's nomination for the governor on Tuesday.

Smith, who has been a House Representative for over 20 years, received the majority of the votes in Tuesday's primary. The Columbia attorney and veteran beat opponents Phil Noble and Marguerite Willis by thousands of votes.

Smith is expected to run against either Governor Henry McMaster or John Warren, who will face each other in a runoff election for the Republican nomination on June 26th.

"I know when facing our toughest challenges, like improving our educational opportunities for our kids, making sure we all have access to affordable healthcare, expanding economic opportunities in rural and urban parts of our states -- to do those things, we've got to bring our state together," said Smith. "Not two states, but one."

This particular race has been a momentous one in that voters chose a governor and lieutenant governor on the same ticket. Smith personally picked another house representative, Mandy Powers Norrell, to run alongside him in November's race.

Norrell says she and Smith have worked together for the past six years in the house, and they hope to bring their camaraderie and teamwork to the state house in November.

"We know how to work together so, day one, we can start a legislative agenda and push forward initiatives that would take other people who don't know each other as well or who haven't run together on a ticket -- it would take them a while to build that kind of relationship and then be able to build it with the house and senate," said Norrell. "So, I think it's so exciting: we can just absolutely start on our work immediately."

The general election is set for November 6th.

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