Dozens of state House members and Senators and courthouse officials across the Lowcountry essentially won re- election Sunday in the easiest way possible: No one filed to run against them.
Barring any independent or write-in candidates — who would be considered a long shot — officials such as Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell; state Rep. Joseph Jefferson, D-Pineville; Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon; and county Clerk of Court Julie Armstrong, among many others, will win new terms this year.
State Rep. Seth Whipper, D-North Charleston, also is among those who didn't have an opponent after filing closed at noon Sunday. Whipper said his lack of opposition is very important because it lets him focus on his legislative work.
He said it's also a relief because he can visit public schools and communities in his district "and not have the pall of someone thinking that I'm there just to get votes."
But not everyone dodged opponents. Incumbent First District Rep. Henry Brown will face two Republican challengers in the June 10 primary. Two Democrats also will face each other on June 10 to see which of them will run in the Nov. 4 general election for Congress.
"I was kind of surprised that that many are running against Henry," Berkeley County Republican Party Chair Wade Arnette said. "Henry is pretty popular, but everybody doesn't like everybody else, I guess."
State Reps. Chip Limehouse, R- Charleston; Wallace Scarborough, R-James Island; Leon Stavrinakis, D-Charleston; and Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston are among those who face either a primary or general election fight, or in Ford's case, both.
While political partisans in Lowcountry counties tried to line up candidates for every office, they couldn't quite do it.
Berkeley County Democratic Chairwoman Michelle Cox said her party has made progress in the past two years, but only incumbent Rep. Joseph Jefferson filed as a Democrat there. She said two potential candidates whom she talked to were not comfortable making the leap.
"We're just going to try to work hard for 2010 to have someone represented for all those House seats so we don't leave them uncontested," Cox said. "We're a lot further along then we were a year ago."
Candidates who filed by Sunday's deadline:
First District: Linda Ketner and Ben Frasier, Democrats; incumbent Henry Brown, Katherine Jenerette and Paul V. Norris, Republicans
Second District: Blaine Lotz and Rob Miller, Democrats; incumbent Joe Wilson and Phil Black, Republicans
Third District: Jane Dyer, Democrat; incumbent Gresham Barrett, Republican
Fourth District: Paul H. Corden, Ted Christian and Bryan McCanless, Democrats; incumbent Bob Inglis and Charles Jeter, Republicans
Fifth District: Incumbent John Spratt, Democrat; Albert F. Spencer, Republican
Sixth District: Incumbent James Clyburn, Democrat; Nancy Harrelson, Republican
Incumbent Lindsey Graham faces Lexington physician Buddy Witherspoon in the GOP primary. Michael Cone of Mount Pleasant and Bob Conley of North Myrtle Beach will face off in a Democratic primary.
HOuSe dist. 94: Incumbent Hayward Hudson and Jenny Horne, both Republicans
House dist. 97: Incumbent Patsy Knight, Democrat; George Bailey, Republican
HOuSe dist. 98: Incumbent Annette Young and Tara Bussajas, both Republicans; Jeff Young, Democrat
House Dist. 109: Incumbent David Mack III, Democrat; Steven Smith, Republican
House Dist. 110: Incumbent Chip Limehouse and Casey Fitts, both Republicans
House Dist. 111: Wendell G. Gilliard, Clay N. Middleton and Maurice G. Washington, all Democrats
House Dist. 112: Joe Bustos and Michael Sottile, both Republicans
House Dist. 115: Eugene Platt and Anne Peterson Hutto, both Democrats; incumbent Wallace Scarborough, Republican
House Dist. 117: Tim Scott, Wheeler Tillman, Bill Crosby, all Republicans
House Dist. 119: Incumbent Leon Stavrinakis, Democrat; Chris Cannon, Republican
Senate Dist. 38: Incumbent Randy Scott and Mike Rose, both Republicans
Senate Dist. 42: Incumbent Robert Ford and Dwayne M. Green, both Democrats; Scotty Sheriff, Republican
--House Dist. 92: Joe Daning
--House Dist. 99: Incumbent Jim Merrill
--House Dist. 100: Incumbent David Umphlett
--House Dist. 102: Incumbent Rep. Joseph Jefferson
--House Dist. 113: Incumbent Seth Whipper, Democrat
--House Dist.114: Incumbent Bobby Harrell, Republican
--House Dist. 116: Incumbent Robert Brown, Democrat
--Senate Dist. 34: Incumbent Raymond Cleary, Republican
--Senate Dist. 37: Incumbent Larry Grooms
--Senate Dist. 41: Incumbent Glenn McConnell, Republican
--Senate Dist. 43: Incumbent Chip Campsen, Republican
Charleston County races
County Council Dist. 3: Elliott Summey, Democrat; Mickie Kelecy, Republican
County Council Dist. 6: Vic Rawl, Democrat; incumbent Curtis Bostic and Nancy Cook, Republicans
County Council Dist. 7: Incumbent Colleen Condon, Democrat; Mark Peper and Joey Douan, Republicans
County Coroner: Henry A. Middleton, Democrat; incumbent Rae Wooten and Robert Dunlap, Republicans
--County Council Dist. 4: Incumbent Henry E. Darby, Democrat
--Treasurer: Incumbent Andy Smith, Republican
--Auditor: Incumbent Peggy Moseley, Republican
--County Sheriff: Incumbent Al Cannon, Republican
--Clerk of Court: Incumbent Julie Armstrong, Republican
County Council Dist. 1: Billy Elrod and incumbent Phillip Farley, Republicans
County Council Dist. 2: Jim Mills and incumbent Tim Callanan, Republicans
County Council Dist.3: Robert Call and David Kennedy, Republicans
County Auditor: Incumbent Janet Brown Jurosko
County Treasurer: Incumbent Carolyn Umphlett
County council, dist. 5: Incumbent Richard Rosebrock and Wayne "Buzzy" Charpia, both Republicans
County council, dist. 6: Incumbent Fred Luxmore and Bill Hearn, Republicans; Wayne Haupt, Democrat
county sheriff: L.C. Knight and Terry Boatwright, both Republicans
county treasurer: Incumbent Mary Pearson and Charlene Snowden, both Republicans; and Beverly Waggoner Lucas, Democrat
County auditor: J.J. Messervy and Teresa Messex, both Republicans
probate judge: Mary Blunt, Republican; Dreama Pruett, Democrat
1st Circuit Solicitor
Incumbent David M. Pascoe, a Democrat, will face Republican Benjy Lafond.
9th Circuit Solicitor
Incumbent Scarlett A. Wilson faces a Republican primary battle with Blair Jennings. No Democrat filed to contest the seat, which covers Berkeley and Charleston counties.