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Grooms bows out in South Carolina

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.

Grooms finished fewer than 500 votes behind Bostic in the race for second-place Wednesday night, a margin close enough to trigger an automatic recount under state law. Former governor Mark Sanford, who finished first, will face the second place finisher in an April 2 runoff, since no candidate received 50 percent of the vote.

Below is Grooms's full Facebook statement:

By a voting margin of less than 1%, my plans to represent South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District ended last night.

In 1 Thessalonians 5, we learn to give thanks in all things. While there is great disappointment for coming so very close in such an incredibly difficult election, there is cause to give thanks and rejoice.

My family, friends, supporters and volunteers sacrificed more for me than I will ever be able to repay. The kindness and generosity of those who believe in my fight for freedom and liberty is overwhelming and I am humbly grateful.

I am truly a blessed man.

 

And here is the subsequent statement he released via email:

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

1 Thessalonians 5 teaches us that we should give thanks in all things. While there is great disappointment for coming so very close in such an incredibly difficult election, there is no doubt cause to give thanks and rejoice.

For instance, in a very crowded field, being massively outspent and with a fraction of the news coverage as others – we can rejoice knowing our campaign brought much-needed attention to the serious issues facing South Carolina and the nation. While many continue to ignore spending problems in Washington, pay lip service to the debt crises and show disdain for morality – our campaign was able to remind the people about the principles and freedoms that made this country great. In fact, what we accomplished despite the odds shows the power of united conservative front. I approached the campaign just as I approach my job as your State Senator - ever striving to unite conservatives and lead others to the conservative cause. That’s a major reason for my success in Columbia, and that’s the very reason way we came so close in this election. When we, as conservatives, fight together on the local, state or national level we succeed.

I am truly thankful to serve in this wonderful Senate district and it’s a job I take very seriously. I pledge to continue fighting for conservatism at the state level by working to protect the taxpayers’ money and their values with every single vote.

I will forever be indebted to my family, friends, supporters and volunteers who sacrificed more for me than I will ever be able to repay. The kindness and generosity of those who believe in my fight for freedom and liberty is overwhelming and I am humbly grateful.

In a special note to my bride of 30 years Carol, I could not and would not have done this without her by my side. Next to the Lord, she is my rock and the constant cause for joy in my life.

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. Like all the candidates and office holders across America, they too will constantly be in my prayers.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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