13 vying for coroner’s post


By J. Lynn West
The qualifying deadline for the Nov. 5 special elections passed Friday afternoon with 13 candidates for the office of Union County Medical Examiner-Investigator. All but one had qualified earlier in the period.
Only one person ended up qualifying for the county school board race, and another for the election commission so both are already settled. Both also have been filling the posts they are seeking on an interim basis.
April Roberts of Myrtle was the last to qualify for coroner. All those who had obtained qualifying paperwork did formally enter the race except for Danny Jarvis, who decided not to run, and Steve Grose, who chose not to file the qualifying paperwork.
Those qualified on the ballot for coroner are Rob Anderson (serving as interim coroner), Pam Browning Boman, Pamela Steward Denham, Lisa Taylor Galloway, Toby Hill, Wayne Martin, April Roberts, Stephen Robinson, Janice Martin Upton, Lee Waldrop, Brenda Bain Whiteside, Sherri Williams and Jonde Files Zinzer.
The Nov. 5 special election will be required because of the resignation of coroner Mark Golding following the revelation that he is under investigator by the state auditor’s office.
Also to be chosen by a portion of Union County voters Nov. 5 are the Third District Election Commissioner and the Fourth County School District trustee.
At the first of this year, supervisors appointed Barbara Ann Reed as interim District Three Election Commissioner until the November special election.
The appointment was necessary because the District Three winner in the past November election, Rank Boyte, resigned for personal reasons immediately after winning. Supervisors accepted his resignation and then appointed Reed, who is Boyte’s daughter.
No one ran against Boyte, who sought the post vacated by Frances Dunlap upon her retirement. The other new election commissioner was Bill Azlin, who defeated incumbent Lanelle Hudson for the District Two seat.
The remaining three incumbents were unopposed. They are Graham Spencer, District One; Mike Beam, District Four; and Wayne Wilhite, District Five.
At about the same time as Reed’s appointment, Union County school trustees appointed Daphnia McMillen as interim District Four school board member. She filled the slot left vacant by Robert Hogue, who ran unopposed for the office but could not serve because his wife is a teacher in the school system.
Both Reed and McMillen are unopposed.
Voting in the coroner’s race will be in all 20 county precincts Nov. 5.
Only those in all or parts of precincts 301 King’s Chapel, 302 Courthouse, 303 Central Maintenance and 304 Beacon Hill will vote in the election commission race.
Only those in the Fourth County School District, all or parts of precincts 301 King’s Chapel, 302 Courthouse, 304 Beacon Hill, 401 Blue Springs, 402 Hillcrest Church, 403 Center and 502 Keownville can vote in the county school board race.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 5. Due to the large number of candidates for coroner and what is expected to be a low voter turnout, a run-off between the top two voter-getters is likely. A candidate would have to get more than 50 percent of the total vote to avoid a runoff. If there is a runoff, it will be Nov. 26.
Union County Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford said absentee ballots should be ready about Sept. 23.
Saturday, Oct. 5, will be the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 5 special election, or to update voter information. Stanford said her office will be open that day, a Saturday, until noon.
Her office also will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Nov. 2, for the convenience of qualified absentee voters.