UNION COUNTY — It’s almost over.
The 2016 campaign season reaches its conclusion on Tuesday when voters across America go to the polls to cast their ballots.
In Union County, those ballots include a total of 39 races — some contested and some not — for a variety of local, state, federal, and national offices, some partisan and others nonpartisan, as well as a referendum.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
The partisan races on Tuesday’s ballot include:
In the race for the office of the President of the United States of America voters in Union County have the following candidates to choose from:
• Donald Trump — Republican Party
• Hillary Clinton — Democratic Party
• Gary Johnson — Libertarian Party
• Jill Stein — Green Party
• Darrell Castle — Constitution Party
• Evan McMullin — Independence Party
• Peter Skewes — American Party
One of South Carolina’s two US Senate seats is one of two races for federal office on the ballot in Union County.
In the US Senate race, incumbent Tim Scott, a Republican, is opposed for reelection by Thomas Dixon, candidate for the Democratic, Work Families, and Green parties; Bill Bledsoe, candidate of the Libertarian and Constitution parties; and American Party candidate Rebel Michael Scarborough.
The other race for federal office on the ballot in Union County is for the US House of Representatives Fifth District seat currently held by Rep. Mick Mulvaney.
Mulvaney, a Republican, is being challenged for reelection by Democrat Fran Person and American Party candidate Rudy Barnes Jr.
District 5 is composed of all or parts of Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Newberry, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, and York counties.
Union County is part of three SC Senate Districts and all of the incumbents in those districts are unopposed for reelection.
SC Senate District 13 Sen. Shane Martin, SC Senate District 14 Sen. Harvey Peeler, and SC Senate District 18 Sen. Ronnie Cromer, all Republicans, are seeking reelection. No Democrats or candidates of any other parties are running for those seats.
District 13 is composed of parts of Greenville, Spartanburg, and Union counties while District 14 is composed of Cherokee County and parts of Spartanburg, Union, and York counties and District 18 is composed of Newberry County and parts of Lexington and Union counties.
In SC House of Representatives District 42 incumbent Mike Antony, a Democrat, is opposed by Republican Tommy Mann.
District 42 is composed of Union County and part of Laurens County. Anthony and Mann are both residents of Union County.
Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett, a Republican, is unopposed reelection.
The Sixteenth Circuit is composed of Union and York counties.
There are two countywide races on the ballot, the first being for Sheriff of Union County with incumbent David Taylor, a Democrat, being challenged by Republican Jeff Bailey.
Clerk Of Court
The other countywide race on the ballot is for Union County Clerk of Court which pits Democrat Melanie Lawson against Republican Amy Austin.
Four Union County Council seats are also on the ballot this year, but only one of them is contested.
In District 2, incumbent Ralph Tucker, a Democrat, is unopposed for reelection.
District 3 is the only contested county council seat on the ballot, with incumbent Tommy Ford, a Democrat, opposed for reelection by Republican David Sinclair.
In District 5, Democrat Tommie Hill is unopposed.
Also running unopposed is District 6 incumbent Kacie Petrie.
Tuesday’s ballot also features the following nonpartisan races in the following jurisdictions:
Brown’s Creek Watershed
Three seats on the governing board of Brown’s Creek Watershed are on the ballot. The following persons are running for those seats:
• Ernest “Twig” Adams (incumbent)
• Charleen Alman
• C.W. Garner (incumbent)
Soil And Water Commission
One seat on the Soil and Water Commission is on the ballot and the only candidate for the seat is Mike Scales.
City Of Union
In the City of Union the Office of Mayor and the Districts 3, 4, and 6 seats on Union City Council are on the ballot in the city precincts.
All but one of those races are contested and in each of the three contested races there are three candidates running.
Mayor Harold E. Thompson’s bid for reelection is being challenged by District 1 City Councilman Tommy Lee Anthony and businessman Robert Fred Small.
In District 3, Councilman N. Yates Giles’ bid for reelection is being challenged by Jack Kelly III and Vicki Morgan.
District 6 Councilman James G. Wilson is facing challengers Sonja S. Craig and Kristina H. Sommer.
The only uncontested race is in District 4 where Councilman Ricky Todd Harris is unopposed for reelection.
Town Of Carlisle
In the Town of Carlisle the Office of Mayor and two seats on the Carlisle Town Council are on the ballot but only the race for mayor is contested.
Mayor Mary Ferguson-Glenn is seeking reelection and is opposed by Carlisle Town Council Woman Ann Stevens.
Incumbent Council Woman Maxine Spencer and incumbent Councilman Ronnie Lyles are unopposed for reelection to their seats on the town council.
The Districts 1, 2, 6, and 7 seats on the Union County Board of School Trustees are on Tuesday’s ballot but only two seats are contested.
In District 2, there are three candidates running including Charles Lott Sr., Mark Ivey, and Greg Addision. Incumbent Trustee Jantzen Childers did not file to run for reelection.
The race for the District 6 seat has drawn four candidates including incumbent Trustee Kakie White and challengers Frank M. Hart, Tammie Farr, and Rodney Johnson.
In District 1, incumbent Trustee Betty Jo McMorris is unopposed for reelection while in District 7 incumbent Trustee Manning Jeter is also unopposed for reelection.
A total of 10 seats in four fire districts are also on the ballot and the following candidates are running for the seats in the following districts:
• Santuc Fire District — The three seats on the governing board are currently held by Albert Gregory, Eddie Hines, and Nancy Richardson, all of whom are unopposed for reelection.
• Monarch Fire District — Three seats on the governing board are on the ballot and incumbents Brad Jolly and Larry Robinson have filed to run along with challengers Tiffany Burnett and Thomas Littlejohn.
• Jonesville Fire District — The two seats on the governing board are currently held by James Harvey Jr. and John Vaughan, both of whom have filed to run for reelection. They are unopposed for reelection.
• Southside Fire District — The two seats on the governing board are currently held by Mark Smith and Russell Trammell, both of whom have filed to run for reelection. They are unopposed for reelection.
Also on the ballot will be a referendum on the Local Option Sales Tax which poses the following question to voters:
Must a one percent (1%) sales and use tax be levied in Union County for the purpose of allowing a credit against a taxpayer’s county and municipal ad valorem tax liability and for the purpose of funding county and municipal operations in the Union County area?
If approved, the county would begin levying the tax on the first day of July 2017. The ordinance placing the question on the ballot states that the revenue generated by the tax would be collected in a Local Sales and Use Tax Fund for the county. The fund will consist of the Property Tax Credit Fund and the County/Municipal Revenue Fund. It states that 71 percent of the funds collected will be allocated to the Property Tax Credit Fund and must be used for property tax relief for county taxpayers. The other 29 percent will be allocated to the County/Municipal Revenue Fund and may be used for county/municipal operations.
The SC Department of Revenue estimates that a local option sales and use tax in Union County will generate an estimated $1.2 million within the county. Of that, Union County would receive an estimated $570,840 for property tax relief and an estimated $156,600 for county operations. The county’s municipalities would would receive an estimated $281,160 for property tax relief and an estimated $191,400 for municipal operations.
A property owner with a home with an assessed value of $100,000 currently has a tax liability of $862.80. If the local option sales and use tax were to pass, their property tax liability would be reduced by estimated $69.20 to $793.60.
Depending on where they live, voters in Union County will cast their ballots at the following locations:
• Adamsburg — Philippi Fire House, 263 Philippi Church Road, Union
• Black Rock — Bethesda Church Annex, 5751 Whitmire Highway, Whitmire
• Bonham — Old School Bus Maintenance Shop, 1734 Jonesville Highway, Union
• Buffalo Box 1 — Buffalo Fire House, 132 Bailey Road, Buffalo
• Carlisle — Carlisle Town Hall, 3911Fishdam Avenue, Carlisle
• Cross Keys — Cross Keys Fire House, 4483 Cross Keys Highway, Union
• East Buffalo — Buffalo Elementary School, 733 Main Street, Buffalo
• Excelsior — Masonic Lodge, 805 South Duncan Bypass, Union
• Jonesville Box 1 — Municipal Complex, 131 North Main Street, Jonesville
• Jonesville Box 2 — Jonesville Fire Department, 101 Webber Street, Jonesville
• Kelton — Kelton Fire House, 130 Pearidge Highway, Jonesville
• Lockhart — Lockhart Town Hall, 118 Mill Street, Lockhart
• Monarch Box 1 — Monarch Elementary School, 218 Monarch School Road, Union
• Monarch Box 2 — Monarch Fire House, 1508 Lockhart Highway, Union
• Putman — Putman Recreation Building, 3692 Buffalo West-Springs Highway, Buffalo
• Santuc — Salem Baptist Church, 1835 Tinker Creek Road, Union
• Ward 1 Box 1 — Foster Park Elementary School, 901 Arthur Boulevard, Union
• Ward 1 Box 2 — Truluck Gym, 103 North Church Street, Union
• Ward 2 — Union County Schools Maintenance Department, 1417 Whitmire Highway, Union
• Ward 3 — Housing Authority Office, 201 Porter Street, Union
• Ward 4 Box 1 — Union County Courthouse, 210 West Main Street, Union
• Ward 4 Box 2 — Recreation Center, 111 Thomas Street, Union
• West Springs — Community Center, 116 West Springs Ball Field Road, Pauline
The Union County Voter Registrar’s Office is open today from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for persons who qualify to vote absentee.
A person is qualified to vote absentee if they meet one of the following qualifications:
• Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents
• Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine serving outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them.
• Persons serving with the American Red Cross or United Service Organizations (USO) serving with the Armed Forces outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents.
• Persons who, for reasons of employment, will not be able to vote on election day
• Physically disabled persons.
• Government employees serving outside their county of residence on Election Day and their spouses and dependents residing with them.
• Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election.
• Persons who plan to be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day.
• Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day.
• Overseas Citizens.
• Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons.
• Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election.
• Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day.
• Persons 65 years of age or older.
• Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial.
While the Voter Registrar’s Office is open today for absentee voting, Monday is the last day to vote absentee.
Friday was the last day the Registrar’s Office could mail out absentee ballots. All persons who had absentee ballots mailed out to them must return their ballots to the Registrar’s Office by 7 p.m. Tuesday in order for them to be counted.
For more information about where to vote, voting absentee, and other election-related matters contact the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office at 864-429-1616.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.