Home » CVSC and CVSC-PAC Spend $650,000 and Drive Over 2 Million Voter Contacts in 2024 Primary Elections

CVSC and CVSC-PAC Spend $650,000 and Drive Over 2 Million Voter Contacts in 2024 Primary Elections

Conservation Voters of South Carolina (CVSC) and CVSC Political Action Committee (CVSC-PAC) invested over $650,000 and drove over 2 million voter contacts in the 2024 primary elections to support candidates committed to fighting to protect the air, land, and water of South Carolina. 

CVSC endorsed 34 candidates in the House and Senate primary elections, including 18 Republicans and 16 Democrats. CVSC-PAC invested in each of the 34 primaries through targeted mail, digital ads, radio ads, texts, phone calls, door-to-door voter contacts, or direct contributions. In total, CVSC-PAC drove 2,259,847 voter contacts between May 1 and June 11 in support of endorsed candidates, not including those voters reached through radio ads. 

The overarching theme of CVSC and CVSC-PAC’s electoral engagement this primary was defending pro-conservation allies in the House and Senate and electing pragmatic Republicans who will work with their colleagues in the House and Senate to support bold land protection, clean water, and clean energy policies in South Carolina. 

While the outcome of these elections won’t be known until Tuesday evening, one thing is clear: CVSC and CVSC-PAC have stepped up to elect pragmatic leaders on both sides of the aisle who will fight for the people and environment of South Carolina. 

Open Seat Investments 

Almost half of CVSC’s endorsements focused on winning open seats. Most of these Republican races have a South Carolina Freedom Caucus opponent candidate, and CVSC worked aggressively against these radical candidates.  CVSC-endorsed candidates in open seats include: 

  • House 9, Republican, Blake Sanders
  • House 20, Republican, Sarah Curran
  • House 22, Republican, Paul Wickensimer
  • House 26, Republican, David Martin
  • House 28, Republican, Kerri Smith
  • House 34, Republican, JoAnne LaBounty
  • House 54, Democratic, Jason Luck
  • House 66, Republican, Michelle Branning
  • House 70, Democratic, Robert Reese
  • House 79, Democratic, Hamilton Grant
  • House 81, Republican, Charles Hartz
  • House 93, Democratic, Phil Ford
  • Senate 12, Republican, Hope Blackley
  • Senate 22, Democratic, Ivory Thigpen
  • Senate 35, Democratic, Jeffrey Graham

Contested Races

In eight House primary contests, CVSC and CVSC-PAC supported challengers to incumbent Representatives. Each challenger recognizes the value of common sense conservation efforts and will bring new, energetic leadership to the House. The incumbents in these races scored very low on CVSC’s legislative conservation scorecard, as indicated below. Endorsements in races challenging an incumbent include: 

  • House 6 Republican Primary – Kyle White challenging incumbent Rep. April Cromer, who has a CVSC Score of 29%
  • House 17 Republican Primary – Tom Bates challenging incumbent Rep. Mike Burns, who has a CVSC Score of 11%
  • House 35 Republican Primary – Kevin Dunn challenging incumbent Bill Chumley, who has a CVSC Score of 11%
  • House 36 Republican Primary – Adam Crisp challenging incumbent Rep. Rob Harris with a CVSC Score of 14%
  • House 38 Republican Primary – Jason Shamis challenging incumbent Rep. Josiah Magnuson, who has a CVSC Score of -3%
  • House 40 Republican Primary – Vince Northcutt challenging incumbent Rep. Joe White, who has a CVSC Score of 0%
  • House 57 Democratic Primary – Cynthia Ford challenging incumbent Rep. Lucas Atkinson, who has a CVSC Score of 60%
  • House 85 Republican Primary – Dean Widener challenging incumbent Rep. Jay Kilmartin, who has a CVSC Score of 14%

Incumbent Defense

CVSC and CVSC-PAC also invested in defending bipartisan champions from primary challengers, viewing these champions as “the backbone of building a conservation majority in the General Assembly.” 

CVSC refused to endorse any incumbent who voted in favor of H.5118 on the second reading in the House on 3/27/2024, given that this legislation posed an enormous threat to customer bills and the environment. If passed, this bill would have given power companies a blank check to raise rates and destroy the environment with little to no oversight. CVSC informed lawmakers before the vote that we viewed the second reading vote on H.5118 as one of the most critical environmental votes in the last 20 years. As a result, this threshold vote on H.5118 resulted in the endorsement of fewer Republican members of the House than in past years.

  • House 15 Democratic Primary – JA Moore
  • House 25 Democratic Primary – Wendell Jones
  • House 72 Democratic Primary – Seth Rose
  • House 82 Democratic Primary – Bill Clyburn
  • Senate 7 Democratic Primary – Karl Allen
  • Senate 19 Democratic Primary – Tameika Isaac Devine
  • Senate 23 Republican Primary – Katrina Shealy
  • Senate 32 Democratic Primary – Ronnie Sabb
  • Senate 36 Democratic Primary – Kevin Johnson
  • Senate 40 Democratic Primary – Brad Hutto
  • Senate 41 Republican Primary – Sandy Senn

A full list of CVSC-endorsed candidates and election results will be available at cvsc.org/elections.

2024 Primary Races Spend & Voter Contacts Per Candidate : 

Open Seat Investments:

DistrictParty PrimaryCVSC-Endorsed CandidateTotal Voter ContactsVoter Contact Details
House 9RepublicanBlake Sanders51,927Mail: 35,397
Texts: 7,500
Live Calls: 6,000
Doors: 3,030 
House 20RepublicanSarah Curran87,686Mail: 39,186
Texts: 8,500
Digital: 40,000  
House 22RepublicanPaul Wickensimer108,537Mail: 55,757
Texts: 9,750
Digital: 40,000
Doors: 3,030  
House 26RepublicanDavid Martin42,255Mail: 29,100
Texts: 10,125
Doors: 3,030 
House 28RepublicanKerri Smith75,957Mail: 25,457
Texts: 7,500
Live Calls: 3,000
Digital: 40,000 
House 34RepublicanJoAnne LaBounty129,572Mail: 32,072
Texts: 7,500
Digital: 90,000  
House 54DemocraticJason Luck6,037Mail: 6,037
House 66RepublicanMichelle Branning52,519Mail: 35,614
Texts: 10,875
Live Calls: 3,000  
Doors: 3,030 
House 70DemocraticRobert Reese35,491Mail: 21,724 
Texts: 6,100  
Live Calls: 6,000 
Doors: 1,667 
House 79DemocraticHamilton Grant28,557Mail: 21,432  
Texts: 3,125  
Live Calls: 4,000 
House 81RepublicanCharles Hartz19,385Mail: 19,385
House 93DemocraticPhil Ford18,895Mail: 14,520 
Texts: 4,375
Senate 12RepublicanHope Blackley351,798Mail: 118,124 
Texts: 22,500
Live Calls: 12,000 
Digital: 190,000 
Radio: 3 spots per day on 4 stations for 7 days = 84 spots
Doors: 9,090 
Senate 22DemocraticIvory Thigpen117,392Mail: 33,737
Texts: 6,625 
Live Calls: 4,000 
Digital: 70,000
Doors: 3,030 
Senate 35DemocraticJeffrey Graham19,538Mail: 16,683 
Texts: 2,188 
Doors: 667 

Contested Races:

DistrictParty PrimaryCVSC-
Endorsed Candidate
IncumbentIncumbent CVSC Score (2024/Lifetime)Total Voter ContactsVoter Contact Details
House 6RepublicanKyle WhiteApril Cromer29%/29%80,540Mail: 61,790 
Texts: 8,750  
Live Calls: 8,000  
Doors: 2,000
House 17RepublicanTom BatesMike Burns11%/39%105,152Mail: 65,152  
Digital: 40,000  
House 35RepublicanKevin DunnBill Chumley11%/24%193,395Mail: 57,254  
Texts: 15,688  
Robocall: 8,453  
Digital: 110,000  
Doors: 2,000 
House 36RepublicanAdam CrispRob Harris14%/14%180,295Mail: 36,515 
Texts: 9,750 
Live Calls: 1,000  
Digital: 130,000   
Doors: 3,030  
House 38RepublicanJason ShamisJosiah Magnuson-3%/35%111,345Mail: 52,752  
Texts: 12,563  
Live Calls: 3,000  
Digital: 40,000 
Doors: 3,030 
House 40RepublicanVince NorthcuttJoe White0%/0%93,702Mail: 39,172  
Texts: 7,500  
Live Calls: 4,000
Digital: 40,000 
Doors: 3,030 
House 57DemocraticCynthia FordLucas Atkinson60%/51%55,191Mail: 40,718  
Texts: 5,375 
Live Calls: 4,000  
Radio: 5 spots a day on 6 stations for 7 days= 210 spots
Doors: 5,098 
House 85RepublicanDean WidenerJay Kilmartin14%/14%37,598Mail: 26,818  
Texts: 4,750 
Live Calls: 3,000  
Doors: 3,030  

Incumbent Defense:

DistrictParty PrimaryCVSC-Endorsed CandidateTotal Voter ContactsVoter Contact Details
House 15DemocraticJA Moore1,962Mail: 1,962
House 25DemocraticWendell Jones1,880Mail: 1,880 
House 72DemocraticSeth Rose52,333Mail: 2,333  
Digital: 50,000 
House 82DemocraticBill Clyburn3,126 Mail: 3,126 
Senate 7DemocraticKarl Allen8,646 Mail: 8,646 
Senate 19DemocraticTameika Isaac Devine14,001 Mail: 14,001 
Senate 23RepublicanKatrina Shealy14,271Mail: 14,271 
Senate 32DemocraticRonnie Sabb16,649 Mail: 16,649 
Senate 36DemocraticKevin Johnson6,275 Mail: 6,275 
Senate 40DemocraticBrad Hutto15,271 Mail: 15,271 
Senate 41RepublicanSandy Senn122,753Mail: 109,315 
Texts: 10,438 
Live Calls: 3,000 
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