Undeterred by the threat of an economic boycott, South Carolina Republicans enthusiastically showed their support for keeping the Confederate flag flying over the Statehouse.
In other primary voting Tuesday, Georgia and Colorado picked candidates for their Nov. 8 governor's races, while South Carolina's gubernatorial hopefuls in both parties were forced into an Aug. 23 runoff when no candidate received a majority.The nonbinding flag referendum topped the GOP primary ballot in South Carolina, the last state to fly the rebel banner atop its capitol.
Republicans, who put the question on the ballot to increase interest in their primary, voted to keep the flag aloft by 76 percent to 24 percent. Asked whether the flag should be taken down from the Statehouse dome, 180,614 voters said no and 57,090 said yes, with 91 percent of precincts reporting.
In Georgia, Atlanta millionaire Guy Millner defeated John Knox in the GOP gubernatorial runoff. Millner, who founded Norrell Services, the nation's sixth-largest temporary services agency, faces first-term Democratic Gov. Zell Miller in the Nov. 8 general election.
Colorado millionaire oilman Bruce Benson easily won his state's GOP nomination to challenge Gov. Roy Romer, who was unopposed in his bid for a third term.
In South Carolina's GOP primary for governor, former state Rep. David Beasley got 48 percent of the vote, with strong support from the conservative Christian Coalition, to 32 percent for retiring Rep. Arthur Ravenel. Former Rep. Tommy Hartnett trailed. Republican Gov. Carroll Campbell is barred from seeking a third consecutive term.
On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Nick Theodore fell just short of a majority in a four-way field with more than 49 percent of the vote. He will compete in a runoff against Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., who had 38 percent.