1974 South Carolina gubernatorial election
The 1974 South Carolina gubernatorial election was held on November 5, 1974 to select the governor of the state of South Carolina. James B. Edwards defeated W. J. Bryan Dorn and became the first Republican since Daniel Henry Chamberlain in 1874 to win a gubernatorial election in South Carolina. It was also the closest gubernatorial election in South Carolina since the disputed election of 1876.
The South Carolina Democratic Party held their primary for governor on July 16, 1974 . Charles D. Ravenel emerged as the winner of the runoff election, but the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that Ravenel did not meet the five-year residency requirement in the state's constitution. W. J. Bryan Dorn was chosen in a special state convention to be the Democratic candidate in the general election for governor.
|Charles D. Ravenel||107,345||33.6|
|W.J. Bryan Dorn||105,743||33.1|
|Earle E. Morris, Jr.||80,292||25.2|
|Eugene N. Zeigler||11,091||3.5|
|L. Maurice Bessinger||7,883||2.5|
|John Bolt Culbertson||4,187||1.3|
|Milton J. Dukes||2,529||0.8|
|Democratic Primary Runoff|
|Charles D. Ravenel||186,985||54.8||+21.2|
|W.J. Bryan Dorn||154,187||45.2||+12.1|
The South Carolina Republican Party held their primary on July 16, 1974 and the contest pitted state senator James B. Edwards against former Army Chief of Staff William Westmoreland. Edwards scored an upset victory in the first Republican primary of the state and earned the right to face Dorn in the general election.
|James B. Edwards||20,177||57.7|
The general election was held on November 5, 1974 and James B. Edwards defeated W.J. Bryan Dorn in what was a banner year for the Democrats in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Turnout was higher than the previous gubernatorial election because of the increasingly competitive nature of the race between the two parties.
|Republican||James B. Edwards||266,338||50.3||+4.4|
|Democratic||W.J. Bryan Dorn||248,861||47.0||-5.1|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
- Mordock, Will (23 June 2010). "The saga of Pug Ravenel still resonates in state politics". Charleston City Paper. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- State Election Commission (1975). South Carolina Election Report 1974. Columbia, South Carolina: The Commission. p. 36.
- "How Counties Voted". The News and Courier. 7 November 1974. p. 17A.