CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- It took about an hour to tally the votes in District 42 Tuesday night. Unofficial results show Marlon Kimpson and Maurice Washington will move into a runoff race to be held on Aug. 27.
The winner of that runoff election will move on to face Republican candidate Billy Shuman and Libertarian Alex Thornton on Oct. 1. Thornton was elected as the South Carolina Libertarian Party's official candidate over the weekend.
Early unofficial results show Kimpson had 2,100 votes; Washington had 1,030 votes.
Among the other candidates, Emmanuel Ferguson pulled in 325 votes; Herbert Fielding tallied 285 votes; Margaret Rush, who looked to have a chance at the runoff briefly, ended with 974 votes; and Bob Thompson collected 28 votes.
The special election was held after long-time politician Robert Ford resigned his seat amid an ethics investigation and mounting health issues.
Ford endorsed Washington's campaign.
Washington said he was planning to reach across the aisle to everyone if he won the seat. He said he would focus on literacy programs.
Kimpson said he would focus on public education, health care and voting rights.
College of Charleston political professor Gibbs Knotts said he thought the winner of the race could be setting up for a very long run in the Statehouse.
"It's pretty high stakes," said Knotts. "Whoever emerges as the winner could be representing the district for quite a long time. There is not a lot of turnover among state legislators."