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The Latest: Cunningham promises bipartisanship in S Carolina

November 7, 2018
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Republican nominee for Congress Katie Arrington concedes the race to Democrat Joe Cunningham during her press conference at the Staybridge Suites in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on Democrats flipping a U.S. House seat in South Carolina (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

South Carolina’s newest Democratic congressman says he wants voters in his conservative district to know he wants to work with everyone.

Joe Cunningham surprised Republican state Rep. Katie Arrington on Tuesday in the coastal 1st Congressional district, winning by about 4,000 votes.

Cunningham told reports at a news conference Wednesday he will stick to his pledge to serve no more than three terms in the U.S. House.

Cunningham says his door is always open to anyone of any political persuasion whether they voted for him or not.

Arrington angered some voters in the genteel district stretching from Charleston to Hilton Head Island by suggesting the race was good versus evil.

Cunningham is the first new Democratic congressman in South Carolina since 1992.

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12:15 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford says Republican Katie Arrington suffered a stunning loss in a U.S. House race in South Carolina because she didn’t understand the entire district.

Sanford told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Arrington’s support of offshore drilling cost her the 1st District race against Democrat Joe Cunningham.

Cunningham is the first Democrat since 1978 to win in the district which stretches from Charleston to Hilton Head Island.

Arrington blamed Sanford for her loss, saying he didn’t give her enough support after she beat him in the June Republican primary by emphasizing her support for President Donald Trump.

Sanford says he rarely endorses in elections and it’s natural in life to want to blame someone else for a loss.

The loss could open doors for Sanford, who served eight years as governor, sandwiched between two stints in the U.S. House.

Former Sanford Chief of Staff Scott English says Sanford could position himself as a Republican who can save the party from Trump.

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10:30 a.m.

Republican Katie Arrington says she has conceded her U.S. House race in South Carolina to her Democratic challenger as she blamed her former Republican primary opponent for not adequately supporting her.

Arrington spoke Wednesday morning at the same Charleston hotel where less than 12 hours earlier, she told supporters that she was close to victory.

Instead, attorney and ocean engineer Joe Cunningham became the first Democrat to win in the coastal 1st District since 1978.

Arrington beat incumbent Mark Sanford in the Republican primary, and blamed his lack of support for her defeat.

Arrington says Sanford couldn’t understand the race was about the conservative movement and not him and called on conservatives who donated to Sanford’s campaign to request their money back.

Arrington says she will be back in 2020 and asked her supporters to pray for the nation now that Democrats control the U.S. House.

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2:05 a.m.

In a loss for a candidate who had the backing of President Donald Trump, South Carolina is sending a new Democrat to Congress for the first time in more than 25 years.

Attorney and ocean engineer Joe Cunningham beat state Rep. Katie Arrington in Tuesday’s election.

The Republican Arrington knocked off incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in June’s primary thanks to Trump’s support.

But Cunningham used that Trump backing to say Arrington was too conservative for the coastal South Carolina district whose residents are richer and less to the right than the rest of the state.

The Democrat hit Arrington especially hard on offshore drilling, an important issue in a district that stretches from Charleston to Hilton Head Island.

Cunningham is the first new Democrat from South Carolina to head to Congress since Jim Clyburn in 1992.

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