Corbin beats Somers; Barnes unseats Baldwin

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Greer’s Amanda Somers had everything to lose and Tom Corbin couldn’t lose. Somers, a first time candidate for public office lost the Republican Primary race for Senate District 5 to Tom Corbin tonight.

Mike Barnes beat incumbent Joe Baldwin for Greenville County Council 1,103-883. Both are Greer businessman. It was a surprise win for Barnes to unseat Baldwin, a former Greer City Councilman.

Tommy Stringer (District 18), Phyllis Henderson (District 21) and Rita Allison (District) 36 all ran unopposed.

Corbin, a Representative in his home District 17, was assured a return to the House since he was running unopposed while opposing Somers in the Senate race. A special election will be held for Corbin’s House seat since he was running unopposed.

Corbin totaled 3,050 votes (64 percent) in Greenville and Spartanburg counties to Somers’ 1,615 (34 percent). Corbin received 2,405 votes in Greenville County and 645 in Spartanburg County. Somers received 1,139 votes in Greenville and 37 in Spartanburg.

“We put up a good fight,” Somers said late Tuesday night among well wishers at The Cazbah. “I had a lot of good supporters and volunteers.”

Corbin didn’t enter the Senate race until Sen. Phil Shoopman announced he wouldn’t run for re-election on April 16, almost two weeks after filing to seek another term. Somers, at that moment, appeared to be the winner until the state GOP re-opened filing for 48 hours. Somers challenged the GOP in the State Supreme Court but her attorney later withdrew the case.

“I’m disappointed. It’s been a roller coaster ride from the beginning,” Somers said.

Somers, her first-time venture into politics, said she’s headed to the lake Wednesday and will not commit to future political ventures. Somers is co-owner of Sports Spine & Industrial physical therapy business in Greer.

Voter turnout in Greenville County reportedly was 9 percent of eligible voters and 6 percent in Spartanburg County.



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