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South Carolina - 1st District

Incumbent -- Henry E. Brown Jr. (R) ; Will retire at end of current term (announced Jan. 4, 2010)

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key

Updated Oct. 14, 2010

State Rep. Tim Scott appears well on his way to becoming the first black Republican to serve in Congress since former Rep. J.C. Watts (Okla.) left in 2002.

Scott dropped his bid for lieutenant governor earlier this year and became the favorite of national party figures and outside conservative groups. He won a nine-way primary that included the son of legendary GOP Sen. Strom Thurmond and the son of former Gov. Carroll Campbell, then won the June runoff.

Scott's general election race against Democrat Ben Frasier, a former Congressional aide and frequent candidate, is little more than a formality in this conservative district.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Taking in most of the state's coastline, the 1st is marked by two of South Carolina's landmark tourist destinations: Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Horry County, which includes Myrtle Beach, still has plenty of farmland but grew quickly in the last decade. The 1st tends to favor the GOP.

Nearly 80 percent of Charleston's residents live in the 1st, and the city is still one of the nation's busiest ports. There is a strong military presence here: Joint Base Charleston takes in the operations of an air force base and a naval weapons station. The city also is home to the Medical University of South Carolina. Although an icon of the New South, the city is surrounded by reminders of its antebellum history. The church steeples marking its skyline lend Charleston its nickname, the "Holy City."

Moving north, tobacco farming has long been prominent in inland areas, but rising cigarette taxes and a national decline in demand have cut into revenues. The Myrtle Beach area is as popular for its championship golf courses as for its beaches, and the housing market there has begun to rebound. Conservation efforts are directed at mitigating congestion, pollution, wetlands destruction and beach erosion following decades of residential and commercial growth.

Major Industry

Shipping, tourism, agriculture, military

Military Bases

Joint Base Charleston, 8,257 military, 3,948 civilian (2011)

Cities

Charleston (pt.), 94,695; Mount Pleasant, 67,843; North Charleston (pt.), 66,597; Summerville, 43,392; Goose Creek, 35,938

Notable

Charleston Harbor is home to Fort Sumter, where the first battle of the Civil War took place in 1861.

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