The filing period for candidates seeking nominations for the 2018 General Election is set to begin at noon on Friday, March 16 and will close at noon on Friday, March 30.
In addition to South Carolina’s gubernatorial and other statewide elections, local races are to be contested among the Laurens County Council, state legislature and other county offices.
The terms of Laurens County Council members Ted Nash (District 1), Stewart Jones (District 4) and Keith Tollison (District 5) are expiring this year.
Jones, who is nearing the end of his first term on council, said he plans to seek re-election.
“I am going to run,” Jones said.
Nash, who has had health problems over the past year, has said publicly that he plans to complete his term but does not anticipate seeking another.
Tollison missed several stretches of meetings due to work commitments out of town in 2017, but announced plans to serve throughout this year. He has not stated publicly whether or not he will seek another term.
Potentially contested seats in the S.C. Legislature include all three local members of the House of Representatives. District 14, District 16 and District 42. Rep. Mike Pitts (R-Laurens) is the incumbent for District 14; Mark Willis (R-Greenville) is the incumbent for District 16; and Mike Anthony (D-Union) holds the seat in District 42.
Anthony, whose district encompasses parts of Laurens and Union counties, announced late Thursday that he would not be seeking re-election of a ninth term in the state House of Representatives.
“It has been my privilege to serve you, the residents of House District 42, in the South Carolina House of Representatives,” he said. “In retrospect, I look back over the 16 years that I have had the opportunity and honor to serve you, our residents, with many fond memories. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the prayers that were sent up for me as I traveled to Columbia and back home to Union each week. I truly appreciate your kindnesses shown to me and your support you gave to me as I conducted the business and made the decisions that continue to impact the lives of all South Carolinians.
“As I leave office, I urge you to continue to be involved in the legislative process through the representative for S.C. House District 42-your voice in Columbia,” he continued. “We all must strive to stay abreast of important legislation coming before the delegates in the S.C. House of Representatives because your voice is the deciding factor as it is conveyed
by the representative of our area. Again, thank you for your support, confidence and trust during my tenure in the S.C. House of Representatives.”
Other local offices on the ballot include that of Laurens County Auditor Jim Coleman, who was appointed by former Gov. Nikki Haley to complete the term of the retired Sally Lancaster.
Also, Laurens County Probate Judge Kaye Fridy’s post, which she has held since 1993, is on the ballot as is that of County Treasurer Cynthia Burke.
The upcoming election marks the first time the state’s candidates for governor and lieutenant governor will run together on the same ballot.
Incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, who is completing the term Haley won in 2014, is running with lieutenant governor hopeful Pamela Evette, a business executive from Travelers Rest.
The pair faces potential challenges from Democrats Phil Noble, attorney Marguerite Willis and state Rep. James Smith have announced their candidacies. A large field of Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, former Democratic Lt. Gov. and state senator Yancy McGill, businessman John Warren as well as labor attorney and former director of the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Catherine Templeton are seeking to unseat McMaster in the GOP Primary.
After the March 16 opening of the filing period, the Laurens County Election Board will be open for filings from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on business days. On March 30, filings will be accepted from 8 a.m. until noon.