An unemployed military veteran has stunned South Carolina Democratic Party leaders by winning the nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint.
Thirty-two-year-old Alvin Greene of Manning defeated 64-year-old Vic Rawl of Charleston in Tuesday's primary. Rawl is a former judge and legislator, who had about $186,000 cash available and had already scheduled a fundraising event for Thursday.
Greene raised no money in the contest, had no signs and no website.
Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler says she hasn't seen Greene since he filed to run. She says Greene will be a much weaker candidate than Rawl going into November against tea party favorite DeMint.
She says people who didn't know either candidate and voted alphabetically may help explain Greene's win.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint has easily won the Republican primary over a little-known former Democrat.
The 58-year-old conservative kingmaker trounced 47-year-old Charleston lawyer Susan Gaddy in his quest Tuesday toward a second Senate term.
With 7 percent of precincts reporting, DeMint was winning with 85 percent of the vote.
The tea party favorite will face one of two candidates in the Democratic primary. They are 64-year-old former judge Vic Rawl of Charleston or 32-year-old unemployed military veteran Alvin Greene of Manning.
DeMint has spent far more time this season helping elect like-minded conservatives to Congress than addressing his opponent back home. He still has $3.5 million cash available for the general election.
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