NC House candidate Claiborne Holtzman, right, greets John Pigg of Edgecombe County as he prepares to vote at the Braswell Center in Tarboro on Tuesday. Despite his late effort to woo voters, Republican Holtzman was badly defeated in his bid to unseat state Rep. Shelly Willingham. Calvin Adkins / Carolina Public Press

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by Bryan Overstreet, WLOS News 13

Just moments after the polls closed in the South Carolina Democratic Primary, ABC NEWS, CNN and the Associated Press projected former Vice President Joe Biden the winner.

Biden’s campaign is holding an event in Columbia, SC following his reported primary win.

Biden tweeted Saturday night shortly after the polls closed: “Thank you, South Carolina!” He says, “To all those who have been knocked down, counted out, and left behind – this is your campaign.”

Biden’s South Carolina watch party erupted when The Associated Press and television networks called the state’s primary for him.

The Columbia scene, with more than a thousand supporters filling the University of South Carolina’s volleyball gymnasium, was quite different compared to that in Iowa and New Hampshire just weeks ago.

Biden’s Iowa crowd was late arriving and obviously relieved when a meltdown of the caucus count spared Biden having to acknowledge his fourth-place finish. In New Hampshire, Biden wasn’t even there for his fifth-place finish, having bailed on the state to speak in South Carolina.

Biden finished his tweet by saying, “Together, we will win this nomination and beat Donald Trump.”

There are 54 S.C. delegates up for grabs.

Separately, WLOS has also reported that Tom Steyer is dropping out of the Democratic race for president after coming up short in South Carolina, which could affect the outcome of the race in Super Tuesday states, including North Carolina.

WLOS’s tabulation of unofficial results showed that with 99% of precincts reporting, Biden had 48% of the vote, followed by Bernie Sanders with 20% and Steyer with 11%. No other candidate had more than 10%.

Editor’s Note: This story is a Carolina Public Press content share from WLOS News 13 of Asheville. North Carolina’s primary election day is Tuesday, March 3.


WLOS ABC 13 is the ABC affiliate based in Asheville, N.C., and covers much of Western North Carolina. Check your local listings for news programming, or visit

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