South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1994

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South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1994
South Carolina
← 1990 November 8, 1994 1998 →
  GovernorBeasley.JPG Lt. Gov. Nick Theodore of SC.jpg
Nominee David Beasley Nick Theodore
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 470,756 447,002
Percentage 50.4% 47.9%

Governor before election

Carroll A. Campbell Jr.

Elected Governor

David Beasley

The 1994 South Carolina gubernatorial election was held on November 8, 1994, to select the governor of the state of South Carolina. The contest featured two politicians from the Upstate and David Beasley narrowly defeated Nick Theodore to become the 113th governor of South Carolina.

Democratic primary[edit]

The South Carolina Democratic Party held their primary for governor on August 9, 1994. Lieutenant Governor Nick Theodore, from the Upstate, emerged as the winner of the runoff election on August 23 against popular Charleston mayor Joseph P. (Joe) Riley, Jr..

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
Nick Theodore 129,572 49.6
Joseph P. Riley, Jr. 99,967 38.2
T. Travis Medlock 22,468 8.6
William Holler 9,439 3.6
Democratic Primary Runoff
Candidate Votes % ±%
Nick Theodore 113,127 50.4 +0.8
Joseph P. Riley, Jr. 111,517 49.6 +11.2

Republican primary[edit]

The South Carolina Republican Party held their primary on August 9, 1994, and the contest featured state representative David Beasley from the Upstate against two Lowcountry politicians. Beasley cruised to victory and benefited from the campaign of popular Charleston mayor Joe Riley for the Democratic nomination by drawing Lowcountry voters away from the Republican primary and towards the Democratic primary.

Republican Primary
Candidate Votes %
David Beasley 119,724 47.2
Arthur Ravenel, Jr. 81,129 32.0
Thomas Hartnett 52,866 20.8
Republican Primary Runoff
Candidate Votes % ±%
David Beasley 134,297 57.6 +10.4
Arthur Ravenel, Jr. 98,915 42.4 +10.4

General election[edit]


Source Date Beasley (R) Theodore (D)
The Greenville News Nov. 3, 1994 38% 34%


The general election was held on November 8, 1994, and David Beasley was elected as the next governor of South Carolina in the closest election percentage wise since the disputed election of 1876. Turnout was higher than the previous gubernatorial election because of the competitive nature of the race between the two parties.

South Carolina Gubernatorial Election, 1994
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican David Beasley 470,756 50.4 -19.1
Democratic Nick Theodore 447,002 47.9 +20.1
U.S. Taxpayers Party John R. Peeples, Jr. 8,003 0.9 +0.9
New Alliance Party Wayne B. Griffin 5,875 0.6 +0.6
No party Write-Ins 2,214 0.2 -0.2
Majority 23,754 2.5 -39.2
Turnout 933,850 62.3 +6.3
Republican hold
1994 South Carolina gubernatorial election map, by percentile by county.
  60%-64% won by Beasley
  55%-59% won by Beasley
  50%-54% won by Beasley
  <50% won by Beasley
  <50% won by Theodore
  50%-54% won by Theodore
  55%-59% won by Theodore
  60%-64% won by Theodore
  65+% won by Theodore

See also[edit]


  • State Election Commission (1995). South Carolina Election Report 1994–1995. Columbia, South Carolina: The Commission. p. 26. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
South Carolina gubernatorial elections Succeeded by