Though he faced his first opponent in 18 years, Rep. Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, will remain the representative of House District 67 for Sumter after receiving 82 percent of votes Tuesday.
"I'm honored to be re-elected," said Smith, who has run unopposed since he first took office in 2000. "I thank the citizens of District 67."
The incumbent ended the night with 8,322 votes compared to Libertarian Brandon Humphries' 1,738 votes of a total 10,123 votes. Sixty-three votes were write-ins.
Humphries, a Thompson Industries contractor at Caterpillar Precision Pin and former member of the U.S. Air Force, said he was prompted to run for District 67 after finding out Smith has run unopposed since 2000. He also wanted to firmly plant roots for the Sumter County Libertarian Party which was formed in August 2017.
The first-time candidate hoped to focus on "ending the income tax and reducing the size of the state government" and wanted to see more free-market solutions to help improve the state's education system if elected.
Humphries ran a good race on ideas, Smith said.
Smith looked back fondly on this year's campaign, saying it gave him even more of an opportunity to go door to door to speak with constituents and get engaged in the community.
Earlier Tuesday, Smith said voter turnout for the midterm election was near presidential election numbers as he and Rep. David Weeks, D-Sumter, delivered snacks to poll workers in Sumter.
A volunteer in the Burns-Down precinct said about 48 percent of the registered voters in that area cast their votes before 5 p.m., he said. That's not including early voters, he said.
Smith said he will continue to keep Sumter in the forefront of his mind and be an effective voice for the city and county as he serves another two-year term in Columbia.
"It's an honor to serve the citizens of Sumter County," he said.
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