COLOMBIA — State Rep. Kirkman Finlay, a five-term Republican from Columbia, misplaced his seat to Democrat Heather Bauer, who campaigned laborious in opposition to SC lawmakers limiting abortion entry, in a stunning upheaval within the November 8 election.
Bauer, a gymnasium proprietor who ran unsuccessfully for Statehouse and Columbia Metropolis Council for the previous two years, beat Finlay 51% to 49%.
Finlay was the one Republican Home incumbent to lose on Election Day.
5 incumbent Democrats trailed GOP foes throughout the state because the Home’s 124 seats have been up for election this yr. If the outcomes maintain, Republicans will maintain greater than two-thirds of the seats within the Home when the session begins in January.
Finlay edged out his challenger by a 3-to-1 margin, in response to state marketing campaign information, plastering Colombia’s southeast district with indicators, billboards and shippers. However that wasn’t sufficient to carry Bauer, who bought assist with shippers and third-party advertisements hitting Finlay for backing abortion restrictions following the state Supreme Court docket’s overturning. States of Roe v. Wade.
Bauer’s marketing campaign touted that Finlay’s assist for a complete ban on abortion was excessive. finlay didn’t vote on the ultimate model of the invoice to go the Home, which banned abortions with exceptions for rape and incest.
Finlay, a farmer and restaurateur who as soon as served on Columbia Metropolis Council, targeted on financial points, together with funding for training, roads and first responders. The member of the Home price range drafting committee highlighted tax cuts and trainer wage will increase in his 10 years in workplace.
Finlay additionally boasted endorsements from outstanding Democrats, together with Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and state Rep. Leon Howard.
Its advertisements and mailings failed to say votes within the Republican-dominated Legislature to additional limit abortion in South Carolina, a subject that will divide the politically various district simply exterior the second-most downtown main metropolis in South Carolina. Each the Home and the Senate are looking for a compromise on their payments.
Bauer, proprietor of Warrior Health and Martial Arts close to Williams-Brice Stadium, has by no means held public workplace.
Bauer ran for the SC Home District 75 seat in 2020, however misplaced within the Democratic main to Rhodes Bailey, who got here inside 257 votes of unseating Finlay.
Final yr, she completed third in a seven-candidate race for a metropolis council seat.
Andy Shain contributed.
Contact Skylar Laird at (843) 830-1526. Observe her on Twitter @sky_latte_.