2217 posts categorized "Elections"

October 24, 2014

Rick Santorum: 'We're losing' because gays 'silenced the church'

Rick-Santorum-Tea-Party-Candidate

Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch reports:

Rick Santorum thinks that young people would have come around to his anti-gay political stances if only the “statists” in the gay community hadn’t “silenced” him and other Religious Right figures.

The former senator and likely presidential candidate made the claim yesterday in an interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, where they discussed the case in Houston where pastors sued the city for rejecting their petitions to repeal a non-discrimination ordinance. The city in turn subpoenaed several pastors, which Santorum and Perkins considered an affront to pastors’ rights.

“I really believe in this subject matter at hand with the gay community that a Judeo-Christian worldview cannot survive with a worldview that is as rabidly secular as this movement is,” Santorum said.

Pardon me, but if we silenced the church, why is the church still talking?

October 23, 2014

Stampede to the Exit

Stampede_insert_by_Bigstock
(Photo courtesy Bigstock)

Here is a link to my column in this week's Blade. As the election season winds down, I look at how voters are caught between scary movie and farce. Here is an excerpt:

The real problem the right has with our judiciary is that it interferes with their efforts to stampede the public. A stampede helps you enact your agenda as rapidly and with as little scrutiny as possible. James Madison worried that minorities could be tyrannized by the majority as much as by a king. The federal judiciary is part of the checks and balances he and others designed to prevent tyranny from below as well as above.

In this election, the Republican Party is winning the sweepstakes for stampeding voters to avoid examination of its record. Panic and outrage are the best ways to provoke a stampede. In the late 17th century, an accusation of witchcraft could eliminate a rival. In the early 20th century, the alleged rape of a white woman could set off destruction of an entire black community with nary a whisper of due process. Today, the favored goblins are Islamist head-choppers and sick Africans.

None of this could withstand critical inquiry; but politicians exploit our herd instinct. A beloved Psalm, after all, portrays us as sheep needing a shepherd. The faithful are called a flock. Using the brains that God gave us to think for ourselves is condemned as vanity. One of the strongest social forces is ostracism of anyone who rocks the boat. We picture ourselves as a nation of rugged frontiersmen, yet react to each new threat like a victim in a horror movie.

It is as implausible that we are helpless against ISIS attacks as it is that we are less able to stop Ebola than Senegal.

October 19, 2014

Monday October 20 - Early Voting Begins

"Early Voting for the 2014 General Election begins on October 20th at One Judiciary Square. On Saturday, October 25th, all 9 early voting locations will be open across the District of Columbia. All locations remain open until Saturday, November 1st (except Sundays). Early Voting Center hours are from 8:30am to 7:00pm."

The following elected offices and ballot measures will be on the ballot this year:

 Delegate to the US House of Representatives
 Mayor of the District of Columbia
 Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia
 At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia
 Ward 1, 3, 5 and 6 Members of the Council of the District of Columbia
 Attorney General for the District of Columbia
 United States ("Shadow") Representative
 United States ("Shadow") Senator
 Ward 1, 3, 5 and 6 Members of the State Board of Education
 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Offices
 Initiative 71 - "Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014"

GLAA is non-partisan and does not endorse candidates but does rate candidates for Mayor and the City Council on their support for issues of importance to the LGBT community.  You can find this years ratings on the front of the GLAA website.  There you will also find responses to the GLAA questionnaire and an explanation of how these rating were arrived at.  GLAA strives to be impartial in its ratings.  Candidates can (and do) submit additional information to raise their rating.

Early Voting Locations

Chevy Chase Community Center
5601 Connecticut Ave NW Ward 3
Multi-Purpose Room

Columbia Heights Community Center
1480 Girard St, NW Ward 1
Gymnasium

Dorothy I Height-Benning Library
3935 Benning Rd, NE Ward 7
Meeting Room

King Greenleaf Recreation Center
201 N St, SW Ward 6
Gymnasium

Malcolm X Elementary School
1351 Alabama Ave SE Ward 8
Multi-purpose room

One Judiciary Square
441 4th St, NW Ward 2
Old City Council Chambers (1st floor, right side of building)

Sherwood Recreation Center
640 10th St, NE Ward 6
Gymnasium

Takoma Park Recreation Center
300 Van Buren St, NW Ward 4
Multi-Purpose Room

Turkey Thicket Recreation Center
1100 Michigan Ave, NE Ward 5
Gymnasium

October 17, 2014

Rick Scott, man without a fan

The Florida gubernatorial race has come down to a debate over whether an electrical appliance (specifically, a small fan) counts as prohibited "electronics" in a televised debate. If your house were on fire and someone said, "Grab the electronics!" I bet you would grab the laptop computer before a household fan. Just saying. In any case, the tagline of the day goes to the meme below.

Rickscotthasnofans

October 14, 2014

Funding or Die

Well-deserved mockery of the Democratic fundraising emails many of us have been spammed with.

October 12, 2014

Carl DeMaio's bizarre sexual harassment scandal

CNN reports. I confess I never thought that masturbation would come up in this campaign.

Texas AG: gay marriage ban reduces out-of-wedlock births

Greg_Abbott_10_Commandments
(Greg Abbott poses with 10 Commandments at state capitol. Photo by Jana Birchum, Getty Images)

Houston Chronicle reports on the brief that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor, filed with the Fifth Circuit on Friday in that state's fight against marriage equality:

Writing in a brief filed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, Abbott said the state was not obligated to prove why gay marriage might be detrimental to the economic or social well-being of Texans. It was only required to show how opposite-sex marriage would be more beneficial for its citizens.

“The State is not required to show that recognizing same-sex marriage will undermine heterosexual marriage,” the brief read. “It is enough if one could rationally speculate that opposite-sex marriages will advance some state interest to a greater extent than same-sex marriages will.”

Abbott may not be charged with contempt of court, but the contempt he shows for the court, the truth, and real families in his preposterous brief could hardly be more clear. It must at last be recognized: we are no longer talking about disagreements, but about lies. Desperate, insulting, cynical lies. Stopping me from marrying the man I love does nothing to advance any state interest. The notion that straight people's marriages are somehow devalued by allowed gay couples to wed should leave any decent and honest person's mouth agape. The final resolution of this nonsense cannot come soon enough.

Go Wendy.

October 10, 2014

GLAA candidate ratings ad for Nov. 4 election

Ratingsadgeneralmj

GLAA Revises Candidate Ratings for Bonds, Others

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance
Fighting for equal rights since 1971
P.O. Box 75265, Washington, DC 20013

For Release:
Friday, October 10, 2014

Contact: Rick Rosendall
(202) 328-6278

GLAA Revises Candidate Ratings for Bonds, Others

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance has considered new information provided by several D.C. Council candidates in the November 4 general election, and adjusted the rating of each, as shown below. GLAA has a longstanding policy of reserving the right to re-rate candidates based on new information received during the campaign. GLAA ratings are on a scale of -10 to +10. GLAA does not make endorsements in partisan races.

Anita Bonds (Democratic At-Large incumbent, original rating +6, revised rating +7.5) added substance to her questionnaire and provided additional record information. Her recent LGBT-related record includes supporting Council member Cheh's successful effort to obtain nearly $1 million in additional funding for homeless LGBT youth; working with the Dept. of Corrections to institute a program offering voluntary HIV/AIDS/STD testing upon release from DC Jail; supporting legislation that expands the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana; working with Health Committee Chair Alexander to give authority to the Dept. of Health to administer $1.5 million in grants for HIV prevention and intervention programs in FY15; and supporting repeal of Prostitution Free Zones in the Judiciary Committee.

Kishan Putta (Independent At-Large candidate, original rating 0, revised rating +6) agrees with GLAA on nearly all the issues, and offered some substance. His record includes working in planning and executing DC Health Link outreach and enrollment; working to lift the outdated liquor license moratorium on 17th Street, NW; and testifying for the Repeal of Prostitution Free Zones Amendment Act.

Continue reading "GLAA Revises Candidate Ratings for Bonds, Others" »

October 08, 2014

Diseases and Demagogues

Child_vaccinated-Julien_Harneis
(Photo by Julien Harneis)

My Blade column this week looks at the right wing's political exploitation of Ebola. Here's a portion:

Obama Derangement Syndrome spiked again last week over Ebola, after a man from Liberia was diagnosed with the viral disease in Dallas, Texas.

Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham asked, "Why did Obama let the Ebola virus into the U.S.?" Another radio demagogue, Michael Savage, said Obama "wants to infect the nation with Ebola" as part of a war on white people. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that the American troops being sent to West Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak are really being sent "to go catch Ebola and die." Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) managed to connect the Dallas Ebola case with ISIS, the IRS, and Benghazi. Fox News host Steve Doocy asked Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tim Frieden, "Why should we believe you when you're telling us this stuff?" since Frieden works for Obama.

It is difficult enough to confront resurgent diseases without an explosion of unhinged conspiracy mongering.

Read the whole thing here.

Update: I note with sorrow that the Dallas patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, has died. May he rest in peace.

October 03, 2014

Mike Huckabee's strange concept of religious liberty

As with all Christianist bullies, Mike Huckabee thinks that his religious freedom is being infringed if he cannot impose his beliefs on his fellow citizens.

September 30, 2014

AG candidate Lorie Masters issues statement on LGBT issues

GLAA, while not rating candidates in the race for D.C. Attorney General, invited candidates to submit statements on LGBT issues. The first to respond is Lorie Masters.

Read the statement by Lorie Masters here.

We will post statements by the other AG candidates, both here and at GLAA's main website at glaa.org, as we receive them.

September 26, 2014

Palin: truth an endangered species #At1400Pennsylvania

When Sarah Palin spoke Friday afternoon at the Values Voter Summit, she referred to the address of the White House as 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue. I suppose she could have been referring to the Commerce Department, which is on that block, though its address is 1401 Constitution Avenue. On the other hand, there is plenty of space there, and I am sure special arrangements can be made if she is determined to move to 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Of course, there is also 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, just steps from the Metro, as the realtors say. And she can see the Capitol from the roof.

Loose Lips: What does the DC AG do?

Will Sommer at City Paper gives GLAA our props (see article) as he looks at the dilemma faced by the 57 percent of voters who are undecided in the upcoming election for D.C. Attorney General:

After nearly a year of legal and legislative wrangling, residents will get what they asked for in a 2010 ballot measure—they’ll vote for the District’s first elected attorney general in November. Next up: figuring out what the District’s first elected attorney general will actually do.

September 23, 2014

A small flap over GLAA's ratings

GLAA issued its ratings last week for candidates in the Nov. 4 general election for D.C. mayor and several council seats. The Blade and City Paper reported.

Kris Hammond, Republican candidate for D.C. Council Chairman, posted comments below both stories. Here's his comment to City Paper:

In fairness to the many candidates who "didn't return the questionnaires at all," most of us never received the questionnaire. Many of the independent candidates and all of the major party candidates who were appointed after the April 1 primary never had an opportunity. My understanding is that GLAA is giving such candidates an opportunity to contribute after the fact, but this news cycle will be past.

As an aside, Democrat Phil Mendelson and I agree on LGBTQ issues-- I wish this bipartisan consensus existed at the national level.

Here is my reply:

Kris Hammond is incorrect in saying that “many of the independent candidates” never received a GLAA questionnaire. We sent questionnaires to all independent candidates listed by the Board of Elections. Most responded to us. In our ratings meeting for the general election cycle, we focused on independent candidates, having dealt with the major party candidates (Democratic, Libertarian, Statehood-Green, Republican) in the primary. Muriel Bowser, as the Democratic nominee for Mayor, chose to submit a new response, so we evaluated that as well.

The fact that some party candidates were recruited after the primary was something we initially overlooked. We have since reached out to everyone on the ballot that we haven’t heard from for whatever reason and invited them to respond. As to the news cycle being over, there are plenty more news cycles. We will announce our new ratings to the same member list and the same press list, as well as post the ratings on our website and include them in our planned ratings ad (which is still a month away). The handful of candidates being rated late have a better chance of receiving bloggers’ attention than had they gotten lost in the crowd of the first story. And I will tweet a link to each new questionnaire as we receive it. Surely this is more than fair on the part of volunteer activists.

Regarding At-Large Republican candidate Marc Morgan, I tried more than once to reach him during the primary season, and sent him the same email I sent other primary candidates. He recently told me that he intentionally waited for the general election. We await his submission. As for Independent At-Large candidates Khalid Pitts and Kishan Putta, we sent them the same invitation we sent other independent candidates. We have since received a response from Pitts, which we are evaluating. We would welcome a response from Putta as well, which we have communicated by (another) email.

GLAA is non-partisan and does not make endorsements in partisan races. We rate candidates based on their records and answers on our issues. Our questions are drawn from our policy brief, which was published in two formats on our website at glaa dot org on January 3, and which was provided to candidates along with the questionnaire–thus making the questionnaire an open-book test. We go through this process for the purpose of educating both candidates and the public, as well as being a resource for reporters, legislative staff, opinion makers, and other activists on LGBT issues. We appreciate the interest.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Elections a 'more meaningful measure' if voters must pass a test

Hasselbeck

Raw Story reports.

In other words, the past 60 years mean nothing. This nitwit needs a pie in the face daily until she gets off the air.

September 15, 2014

September 16 - GLAA ratings meeting

Friends,

Here is the agenda for GLAA's DC general election candidate ratings meeting, set for Tuesday, September 16 at 7 pm in Room 120 of the Wilson Building. This is for independent and minor party candidates, plus any primary winners who choose to submit revised questionnaire responses.

This will be a working meeting. Only GLAA members can vote on ratings. We go carefully through each candidate's LGBT-related record and questionnaire answers. And we do ratings (on a scale of –10 to +10), NOT endorsements.

Due to the number of candidates we have to rate, we need to use our time efficiently. Please take the time to study the questionnaire responses beforehand if you plan to attend. You can find them online at:
http://glaa.org/archive/2014/nov4responses.shtml

Best,

Rick Rosendall
President
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.

August 19, 2014

Fischer: Gays Are Inherently Disqualified From Serving In Public Office

Right Wing Watch reports.

August 15, 2014

They'll always have Vegas

FCS-headshot

Rev. Graylan Hagler is a candidate for At-Large Council.

August 07, 2014

Huckabee: Obama 'worthy of impeachment'

Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch reports:

Mike Huckabee appeared on Monday’s edition of Iowa-based Steve Deace’s radio talk show, where he said President Obama “absolutely” deserves to be impeached but cautioned that Republicans should not pursue impeachment at this time since the GOP doesn’t have the votes to convict him in the Senate.

Blow: War Against Whites? I Think Not

Blow_New-articleInline

In another excellent commentary, NYT columnist Charles M. Blow blows to smithereens the claim by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) that Democrats are waging a "war on whites." Blow notes the Republican Party's extensive history of racially divisive politics and policies, going back to Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy which was based on exploiting white voters' fears of and hostility toward blacks. Here's a portion:

The racial divisiveness ... continues as Republicans trade racial terms for culture-centric euphemisms. Newt Gingrich, in 2011: “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works,” although most poor people of working age work. Paul Ryan, earlier this year: “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” And Bill O’Reilly said recently in a discussion about legalizing marijuana that the left’s position was that marijuana was harmless and “It’s blacks, you know, you get, you’re trapping the blacks because in certain ghetto neighborhoods it’s part of the culture.” ...

Whites are not under attack by Democrats; Republicans like Brooks are simply stoking racial fears to hide their history of racially regressive policies.

Talking about a "war on whites" is like calling marriage equality a threat to straight people. You might well call it a war on exclusivity, which is to say discrimination; but that is not what is being claimed. Those who practice this wedge politics are manipulating voters into voting against their own interests by exploiting fears. If we let cynical men divide us in this way, or if we become discouraged by partisan gridlock and withdraw from participating in elections, we hand over control to those who pick our pockets and line their own at the expense of the common good.

August 04, 2014

Christian Carter, picking up after Marion Barry

Christian-carter

The above is my response to At-Large D.C. Council candidate Christian Carter, who tweeted this morning in response to City Paper reporter Will Sommer's unflattering coverage of Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry. Marion, a charming rogue and wily politician, has long had a penchant for invoking the history of racial injustice to get himself out of jams. Evidently Mr. Carter is eager to pick up the baton from the aging former mayor and current councilmember from Ward 8.

Granted, Marion remains invulnerable in Ward 8, whose voters gave him nearly 73 percent of the Democratic primary vote in 2012; but Mr. Carter is running at-large. If Carter wants to challenge Sommer's "Loose Lips" reporting, he should cite specifics instead of just talking trash.

LL's latest on Barry is here.

(Photo of Christian Carter from Twitchy.com)

August 01, 2014

Rep. Hastings slams #GOPlawsuit against Obama

Rep. Alcee Hastings slams the House GOP lawsuit against President Obama over enforcement of the Affordable Care Act.

July 29, 2014

Religious Right Film: Activist judges attacking America with gay rights & Porn

Ian Silverstone at Right Wing Watch reports:

As if their first video didn't quite hammer the point home, Religious Right advocacy group Truth in Action Ministries has returned with part two of "We the People: Under Attack," an exhausting indicment of the federal judiciary and its allegedly anti-Christian agenda.

In the spirit of defending the rights of the “majority,” Phyllis Schlafly paints a grim scenario of judicial tyranny usurping American values:

"We have judges who have created new rights, who have knocked down laws and practices that have been part of our heritage since the beginning, and you can call the roll of what they’ve done: tried to throw up traditional marriage between a man and a woman; throwing out the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag because it has the words ‘under God’ in it; creating new rights that are not in the Constitution, like the right to abortion, the right to sodomy, the right to same-sex marriage licenses, the right to have pornography even with taxpayer’s money. You know these are not in the Constitution, and it is an offense against the American people, against We the People, and against our whole form of government. And the result is that the First Amendment has been turned on its head."

The video above shows excerpts from the film.

July 24, 2014

GOP Candidate In Arizona Promises To Fight 'The Gay Lobby,' Stop Illegal Immigration 'Before It's Too Late'

Miranda Blue reports at Right Wing Watch:

In a campaign ad that began airing last week in Arizona, Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Thomas boasts of having “stood up to the gay lobby” and promises to stop undocumented immigrants “before it’s too late.”

“When I enforced the law, illegal immigrants fled this state. Now they stay and protest” Thomas, a former Maricopa County attorney, says in the ad, as he’s flanked by a mostly-white crowd.

Thomas was disbarred in 2012 after facing corruption charges. He isn’t considered a frontrunner in a large Republican field that includes executive Christine Jones, State Treasurer Doug Ducey, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, former Rep. Frank Riggs, and others.

Summer of Liberty, or something

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America on how the gays have stolen our freedoms.

Rick Perry preps for another presidential run with immigration standoff

Photo-rick-perry-hunting-refugee-children-in-mom-jeans
(Photo source unknown)

The utter incapacity of some politicians to feel shame or be self-aware is almost charming. Almost. The photo op shown above turns it into something very ugly. This nitwit is unfazed by having made a mockery of himself in 2012, and is now calling out the Texas National Guard to shoot at what his predecessor's once called "the little brown ones." I wonder what more refined conservatives are thinking these days as so many on their side of the partisan divide overrun their genteel bigotry with a cruder variety.

A fundraising ploy disguised as a birthday card

BHO_birth_cert_tray

Thanks to the Birther nonsense, an unusually large number of us knows the date, year, and place of BHO's birth, even the hospital. I have a drink tray with a reproduction of his birth certificate. But I don't think 44 will notice whether I sign his birthday card. Yet I am getting multiple reminders a day. The thing is, Barack and I are just not close enough that we exchange birthday cards. So, you know, knock it off already, okeydoke?

July 11, 2014

Actually, I do

Untrue email subject line of the day: "You don't want to miss this!"

(Apologies to supporters of the candidate in question. It's nothing personal. It's political message and subject-line hype fatigue.)

Rick Santorum warned us about this

UCBComedy explains: "Ron Spiner is the only candidate brave enough to fight for your right to marry whoever you want, as long as they're a dog and not the same sex as you." Apparently they're parodying Dr. Keith Ablow, who is seen below on Fox News discussing his concerns about polygamous bestiality.

For students of depravity, I note that these guys don't go nearly as far as Madonna did in her sex book twenty years ago. But what's with the guy and the peanut butter? How insensitive toward people with peanut allergies.

June 28, 2014

Self-Aware Bobby Jindal Is Tired Of 'Candidates Who Tell Us One Thing Then Go Do Another'

Another gem from Miranda Blue at RWW.

June 25, 2014

Cochran beats back Tea Party challenger

Sen. Thad Cochran narrowly defeated Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel in Tuesday's runoff election. As you can see from the above non-concession speech, the GOP's internal blood-letting ain't over. Get your popcorn.

My theory: Thad Cochran may have been helped by his porn star name. See Mississippi's broadband porn rental rate.

Dire messages!

The subject lines from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are annoying me more and more. At 21:49 on Tuesday I got a message from DCCC Breaking News titled "DEVASTATING news," and it was about GOP fundraising. Oh STFU.

June 24, 2014

Catania interviewed on MSNBC

Independent D.C. mayoral candidate David Catania is interviewed on MSNBC.

June 22, 2014

Openly gay gubernatorial candidate leads pride parade in Maine

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(Photo credit: Associated Press)

ABC News reports:

A Democratic candidate who reluctantly made public his homosexuality last year found himself serving as the grand marshal of Maine's biggest gay pride parade and festival Saturday and urged activists to continue fighting to eliminate discrimination and promote equality.

Mike Michaud, who would become the nation's first openly gay person to be elected governor if he unseats Republican Paul LePage in November, said it would be powerful for the gay community to have a seat at the table in discussions with governors across the country on equality issues.

"Maine has come a long ways and our nation has come a long ways, but there's still a long way to go," he said in an interview before he marched alongside a white convertible down the roughly milelong route in downtown Portland.

Meanwhile, the National Journal reports that Rep. Michaud leads Gov. Paul LePage in a new poll.

June 19, 2014

Obama: Republicans no longer run against gay marriage

USA Today reports on comments made Tuesday night by President Obama at the DNC gay rights dinner. The President is right: much has changed in the past decade.

June 18, 2014

Hillary 1, Squirrel 0

HRCSquirrel2
HRCSquirrel2

A Republican-hired giant squirrel has been dogging Hillary Clinton's every book-flacking step handing out bumper stickers that read, "Another Clinton In The White House Is Nuts." So Hillary decided to give the squirrel an autographed copy of her book. Smooth, Madam Secretary.

June 12, 2014

Anderson debates Texas GOPer on reparative therapy

June 11, 2014

Oklahoma Candidate Says Gays Should Be Stoned

Scott_esk

Igor Volsky reports:

Oklahoma state house candidate Scott Esk wrote on Facebook last summer that gay people are “worthy of death” and should be stoned, later claiming that violence against gays is “in the old testament under a law that came directly from God.”

Ah, what would the Bill of Rights look like if we called a Constitutional Convention today?

Cantor and Graham

The earthquake with its epicenter in his district may have been an omen for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who lost his primary to a Tea Party novice. But while the shadenfreude is thick in the aftermath of his loss, it is tempting fate to get too gleeful over his loss to someone to his right. The notion that he is not conservative enough is not just that Tea Partiers are loony, but that his leadership role required him to cast certain votes and serve as an emissary in ways that were bound to rub the right wing base the wrong way. Cantor is the first majority leader in history to lose his party primary. Brian Tashman comments at RWW.

Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) beat his challengers without the need for a runoff.