Democrat Hutto easily wins US Senate primary

By MEG KINNARDAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- State Sen. Brad Hutto has won South Carolina's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate.

Early returns showed the 56-year-old Hutto winning Tuesday's primary with more than 75 percent of the vote over businessman Jay Stamper.

The state Democratic Party's executive committee voted unanimously last month to endorse Hutto, a repudiation of Stamper, who has felony convictions from 2008 for selling unregistered securities in Nevada.

State leaders said the party wasn't sure Stamper had Democrats' best interests in mind after moving to South Carolina last year without a lot of explanation. Stamper has said his convictions were a paperwork mistake.

Two-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham faces half a dozen challengers in Tuesday's GOP primary. Hutto and the winner of that contest will face Libertarian Victor Kocher in November.


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