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South Carolina - 3rd District

Incumbent -- J. Gresham Barrett (R) ; Defeated by Nikki R. Haley, R, in gubernatorial primary runoff on June 22, 2010

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key
 

Updated Oct. 14, 2010

State Rep. Jeff Duncan needed a runoff to secure the GOP nomination in the 3rd district after an unexpectedly strong challenge by businessman Richard Cash.

But Duncan should cruise to victory in November now that he's the GOP nominee. The district is a conservative stronghold that votes solidly Republican in state and federal elections. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won the district by nearly 30 points in the 2008 presidential contest.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The largely rural, conservative 3rd District, on the eastern bank of the Savannah River, takes in South Carolina's hilly northwestern corner and the state's highest peaks.

To the south, an engineering base around the Energy Department's Savannah River Site nuclear complex (shared with the 2nd) keeps the regional economy relatively stable and lured Fortune 500 firms and several U.S. divisions of foreign companies to the area. Fujifilm's manufacturing and research facility in Greenwood employs more than 1,000 people in the area.

Agriculture is a key part of the economy, especially in southern areas: Aiken (shared with the 2nd), Edgefield and Saluda counties are among the state's top peach-producing counties. Cotton is another important crop.

Farther north, Anderson's industrial economy relies on high-tech and automotive parts manufacturing, and many plants in a diminishing textile market have shifted to high-tech fiber manufacturing. The gem of Pickens County remains Clemson University, which is the economic and social nexus for the 3rd's northern tip.

The district votes solidly Republican in federal and statewide races. The less populous counties in the 3rd's midsection, including black-plurality McCormick County, are more rural and less GOP-leaning. The 3rd gave John McCain his highest percentage statewide in the 2008 presidential election.

Major Industry

Nuclear research, manufacturing, textiles, agriculture

Cities

Aiken (pt.), 26,744; Anderson, 26,686

Notable

Lake Thurmond, previously known as Clarks Hill Lake, was renamed for former GOP Sen. Strom Thurmond.

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