South Carolina: Former Bengals Coach Wins Primary

by Nathan L. Gonzales June 14, 2008 · 12:05 AM EDT

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) cruised to renomination Tuesday, but the untold story in the Palmetto State’s primaries is how a former NFL coach took down an incumbent.

Former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Sam Wyche defeated incumbent Ben Trotter in the Republican primary for the Pickens County Council. Wyche made his political debut by taking down Trotter, 61 percent to 39 percent, in a race the featured almost 3,700 votes cast. The former coach still has to win the general election.

Pickens County is located in Rep. Gresham Barrett’s (R) 3rd district in the northwest part of the state. Unless Barrett makes a sudden move for the exits, Wyche will have to wait to join Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) in the Congressional NFL caucus.

Graham defeated Buddy Witherspoon, 67 percent to 33 percent, in the Senate GOP primary.