South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1978

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The 1978 South Carolina gubernatorial election was held on November 7, 1978 to select the governor of the state of South Carolina. Richard Riley, the Democratic nominee, defeated Republican Edward Lunn Young and became the 111th governor of South Carolina.

Democratic primary[edit]

The South Carolina Democratic Party held their primary for governor on June 13, featuring three high tier candidates. Richard Riley, a former member of the General Assembly, emerged as the winner of the runoff election over Lieutenant Governor W. Brantley Harvey, Jr. on June 27.

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
W. Brantley Harvey, Jr. 142,785 37.5
Richard Riley 125,184 32.9
William Jennings Bryan Dorn 112,793 29.6
Democratic Primary Runoff
Candidate Votes % ±%
Richard Riley 180,882 53.3 +20.4
W. Brantley Harvey, Jr. 158,655 46.7 +9.2


Republican primary[edit]

The South Carolina Republican Party held their primary for governor on June 13. The race between Edward Lunn Young and Raymon Finch drew little interest compared to the Democratic primary and turnout for the Republican was less than that of 1974. Young defeated Finch in a close contest and earned the right to face Riley in the general election.

Republican Primary
Candidate Votes %
Edward Lunn Young 12,143 51.4
Raymon Finch 11,501 48.6


General election[edit]

The general election was held on November 7, 1978 and Richard Riley was elected as the next governor of South Carolina. Turnout was higher than the previous gubernatorial election because of the increasingly competitive nature of the race between the two parties.

South Carolina Gubernatorial Election, 1978
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Richard Riley 384,898 61.3 +14.3
Republican Edward Lunn Young 236,946 37.7 -12.6
Independent Judy Reynolds 5,338 0.9 -0.7
No party Write-Ins 731 0.1 -1.0
Majority 147,952 23.6 +20.3
Turnout 627,913 57.2 +4.2
  Democratic gain from Republican
1978 South Carolina gubernatorial election map, by percentile by county.
  65+% won by Riley
  60%-64% won by Riley
  55%-59% won by Riley
  50%-54% won by Riley
  50%-54% won by Young

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Preceded by
1974
South Carolina gubernatorial elections Succeeded by
1982