UNION COUNTY — Would you like to help the Democratic and Republican parties select their candidates for local, state, and federal offices?
If you do, then you’ll have your chance to do so in theDemocratic and Republican party primaries on Tuesday, June 12.
You will have the chance to do so, but only if you’re registered to vote and time is running out for you to do so.
Union County Election Commission Chairman Keith Vanderford said Tuesday that noon this Saturday (May 12) is the deadline to register to vote in the June 12 primaries.
Vanderford said that persons who want to register to vote in the primaries may do so in person at the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office, 1246 South Duncan Bypass, Union. He said residents who register in person are asked to bring with them a Driver’s License or other photographic identification.
The Registrar’s Office is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Registration can also be done by mail and Vanderford said registration forms may be obtained at scvotes.org. Vanderford said that once completed the registration forms can either be hand-delivered to the Registrar’s Office or mailed in. He said forms mailed in must be postmarked before May 14 in order to be accepted.
Vanderford said that anyone who is currently 17 but will turn 18 before the Nov. 6 general election may register to vote now and be able to vote in both the primaries and general election.
Vanderford also announced that absentee voting for the primaries will begin Monday, May 14. He said that absentee ballots may be cast at the Voter Registrar’s Office.
Choosing A Party
Vanderford said that voters that participate in the June 12 primaries will not be able to vote in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. Instead, Vanderford said they will have to choose to vote either as a Democrat or as a Republican. He said that if a runoff is held on June 26, persons who choose to vote in it will have to vote the same party as they did in the primary. If they did not vote in the primary, voters taking part in the runoff may choose which party they vote in.
In November, however, voters may split their votes between the Democratic, Republican, and other party candidates.
In Union County, the November ballot will include races for seven local offices, one state legislative office, one congressional office, and seven statewide offices.
A total of 14 candidates have filed to run for the seven local offices and the state legislative office. Four of those candidates — all of them incumbents — are unopposed while in three other races the candidates are all of the same party.
The SC House of Representatives District 42 seat is currently held by Rep. Mike Anthony, a Democrat, who announced in February that he would not seek a ninth term in office.
Doug Gilliam, Phillip Russell, and Brooks Carwile have all filed to run for the District 42 seat as Republicans.
No Democrats have filed to run for the District 42 seat which means the winner of the Republican primary will succeed Anthony.
District 42 is composed of all of Union County and part of Laurens County, but no one from Laurens County filed to run for the seat.
Like Anthony, Gilliam, Russell, and Carwisle are residents of Union County and so District 42 will continue to be represented by a resident of Union County.
Of the seven local races, only four are contested, and of those only one is contested by candidates of opposing parties.
• Union County Supervisor is the only local race where candidates from opposing parties have filed to run.
Incumbent Democrat Frank Hart is opposed in his bid for a second term by Republican Hal Blackwell.
• Union County Treasurer is one of two local races that will be decided in the Democratic primary.
The race pits Kacie Petrie against Debbie Robertson.
• Union County Council District 1 is the other of the two local races that will be decided in the Democratic primary.
The race is the most contested of the local races on the ballot with three candidates — Marie Knox, Mary Pacolette Genoble, and Tracie Farr Campbell — running.
The seat is currently held by Councilwoman Joan English, a Democrat, who announced in February that she would not see a fourth term in office.
The four remaining local races feature incumbents unopposed for renomination and reelection. Those races and those incumbents are:
• Union County Probate Judge William All III, a Republican, who is unopposed for a second term
• Union County Coroner William Holcombe, a Democrat, who is unopposed for an eighth term.
• Union County Auditor Brad Valentine, a Democrat, who is unopposed for a fifth term.
• Union County Council District 4 Councilman Ben Ivey, a Democrat, who is unopposed for a third term.
State and federal offices are also on the ballot in Union County have drawn the following Republican, Democratic, and, in some cases, third party candidates.
The only federal office on the ballot in Union County is the US House of Representatives District 5. The race has drawn the following candidates:
Republicans: Ralph Norman (incumbent)
Democrats: Archie Parnell, Steve Lough, Mark Ali, and Sidney Moore
Constitution Party: Michael Chandler
District 5 includes all of Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Union and York counties and parts of Newberry, Spartanburg and Sumter counties.
The following offices of the government of the State of South Carolina will also be on the ballot in June and in November and have drawn the following candidates:
Republicans: Catherine Templeton, Kevin Bryant, Henry McMaster (incumbent), John Warren, John Yancey McGill
Democratic: Marguerite Willis, James Smith, Phil Noble
American Party: Martin Barry
• Secretary of State
Republicans: Mark Hammond (incumbent), Joshua Putnam, Nelson Faerber, Kerry Wood
Democratic: Melvin T. Whittenburg
• State Treasurer
Republican: Curtis Loftis (incumbent)
Democratic: Rosalyn L. Glenn
American Party: Sarah Work
• Attorney General
Republican: Todd Atwater, Alan Wilson (incumbent), William D. Herlong
Democratic: Constance Anastopoulo
• Comptroller General
Republican: Richard Eckstrom (incumbent)
• State Superintendent of Education
Republican: Molly Mitchell Spearman (incumbent)
Democratic: Israel Romero
Commissioner of Agriculture
Republican: Hugh Weather (incumbent)
United Citizens Party: Chris Nelums
Green Party: David Edmond
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.