Updated at 12:01 p.m. on 3/21 with state Sen. Larry Grooms's subsequent statement

South Carolina state Sen. Larry Grooms gave way to Charleston county councilor Curtis Bostic in the battle for the second spot in the state's 1st district Republican runoff Wednesday.

"By a voting margin of less than 1%, my plans to represent South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District have ended," Grooms said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Grooms had written on his Facebook page that he was ending his bid. But his campaign strategist, Hogan Gidley, insisted it did not amount to  a concession. Bostic's margin over Grooms was slim enough to trigger an automatic recount.

But for all intents and purposes, Grooms has now thrown in the in the towel, even if he never used the word "concede."

"To the possibility of a recount, as I understand it, the state Election Commission will begin an automatic recount as outlined by state law -- and I will be the ‘official’ third place finisher in the race. I wish Gov. Mark Sanford and Curtis Bostic all the best," Grooms said.