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Thomas Beach

South Carolina State House

Winning a 3-Way Primary Against an Incumbent Without a Run-off

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In the 2022 Republican Primary in South Carolina, Campaign Marketing Strategies served as the consultant for Thomas Beach, a former Army ranger and conservative fighter who decided to challenge his state representative because of his liberal voting record, including a committee vote against the Save Women’s Sports Act.

CMS happily took Beach on as a client in spite of significant uphill odds against his winning. An additional hurdle in the race was the conservative challenger from the previous cycle deciding to run again, thus risking a split of the conservative vote.

Due to the opponent’s incumbent status, he out-raised our client over 2 to 1, and had the powerful endorsements of the Governor, the Attorney General, the Realtors PAC, the Chamber of Commerce, the NRA, and SC Right to Life, among others.

For the mail schedule, we exposed Rep. Cox’s bad voting record on transgender policy, in spite of his attempting to hide his bad votes behind arcane and confusing procedural votes, while also highlighting Beach’s record of military service for a crystal clear contrast.

The quantity of mail from the opposition and his third-party groups and allies outnumbered ours by 3 to 1.

In spite of overwhelming odds against us, our messaging resonated powerfully with voters because it was timely and relevant.

On Election Day we expected a runoff, because South Carolina law mandates that if no candidate received 50% plus 1 vote, the top two vote getters would go on to face each other. Remarkably, Beach won, compiling 50.3%, more votes than either the incumbent or the other challenger combined.

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