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A week ago, the ground moved.
Not literally, of course. But the Nov. 2 election was obviously a huge one for the Republican Party.
Nationwide, the GOP made impressive gains, most notably in the U.S. Congress, where Republicans gained control of the House and reduced the Democratic majority in the Senate.
Republicans also made impressive gains in state legislature races across the country – something that will give the party an edge when redistricting is done based on the 2010 Census numbers.
State Sen. Mick Mulvaney, R-District 16, was one of last week’s GOP winners. The Indian Land businessman defeated U.S. Rep. John Spratt in the 5th District congressional race, bringing the York Democrat’s tenure in Congress to an end after 28 years.
The Mulvaney/Spratt race was one of the most memorable we’ve seen in years. There were barbs traded in debates, in news articles and in TV ads. Navy blue Mulvaney signs and dark red Spratt signs were posted in yards throughout the district. Folks posted Mulvaney and Spratt bumper stickers on their cars, and they sometimes traded insults on Internet message boards about which candidate would serve the district best. Millions of dollars – a lot of it from third-party groups that favored one candidate or the other – were spent on the campaign.
Now it’s over, which is something we suspect most folks are happy about. Campaign rhetoric both excites and angers, but it gets old after a while. We think most folks are ready to move on.
Whether you voted for him or not, we encourage you to congratulate Mulvaney, for his victory – a feat that makes him the first Lancaster County resident to hold the seat in more than 50 years. The congressman-elect deserves our respect. He worked hard to sell his ideas and unseat a 14-term incumbent.
Spratt also deserves our respect, for his service in one of the highest elective offices in the land for almost three decades.
Whoever you supported, we hope you’ll be graceful about it. We believe both Mulvaney and Spratt would want their supporters to act that way. We believe most other candidates would want the same of their supporters, whether they won or lost their contest.
Another victor in a hard-fought race last week was Republican Nikki Haley, who bested Democrat Vincent Sheheen in the governor’s race. She made history and will become the first woman and minority (she’s of Indian descent) to be elected governor of the state. We congratulate her and hope she does well.
We’d also like to congratulate S.C. Rep. Deborah Long, who won her second term as the District 45 representative in the S.C. House, and Don McCorkle, who won his second term as Indian Land’s representative on the Lancaster County school board in a heated three-way race.
Although we can’t name them all here, we congratulate all winning candidates in last week’s election, and we also want to thank the candidates who didn’t win for taking the time to run for office. This is what makes democracy work – two or more candidates seeking office and offering their platforms during campaigns.
Now it’s time for the winners to go to work on all the issues they espoused during their campaigns. And in two years, we’ll do this whole election bit over again.