By Charmaine Smith-Miles (Contact)
Monday, November 3, 2008

Some will be sitting on the edge of their seats as they watch poll numbers come in today, but Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore and S.C. Rep. Bill Sandifer, R-Seneca, won’t be part of that crowd.

And for that, the two couldn’t be more grateful.

Both are among the more than 30 candidates in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties who are unopposed for the general election today.

“An old-time politician once said there are two ways to run — unopposed and scared,” Sandifer said, with a laugh.

He added, “I think it is indicative of the fact that the people in House District 2 feel satisfied with the service I have provided to them. For that I am very gratified.”

Sandifer faced a challenger in the Republican primary in June. The start of his new term will be the beginning of Sandifer’s eighth two-year term in office. First elected in 1994, Sandifer said he has faced an opponent only in alternating general elections in all the times he has sought election.

In Anderson County and Clemson, the mayor and the county coroner beat even that record.

Shore said he’s been in the coroner’s office since 1996. In that first race, he faced a Democratic challenger. Since then, he’s been able to run opposed, Shore said. And he said he plans to try to keep the coroner’s position as long as his health holds up and his constituents will have him, he said.

As for what it feels like to run unopposed, Shore said it takes a lot of pressure off, mentally and physically.

“I try to serve with compassion and respect, as if it were my own door that I am knocking on in the middle of the night to deliver bad news,” Shore said. “I am just honored to get to run and to be able to run unopposed.”

Clemson Mayor Larry Abernathy has served in the city of Clemson’s lead political role for 28 years — or seven terms. This election is the fourth in which he has not faced a challenger. So tonight, he will not be sitting on the edge of his seat, he said.

“This election is just a fascinating time,” Abernathy said. “But I will not be sweating. I have run both ways. Being unopposed is the way to go. My campaign budget for the last four elections has been $10.”