Filing period for Lexington County Coroner job officially open - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Filing period for Lexington County Coroner job officially open

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Shortly after the filing period opened at noon Friday, Frank Barron hustled over to the Lexington Voter Registration and Elections office.

The longtime Richland County coroner and former candidate for the same job in Lexington County, launched his latest bid for office.

"Most people have no idea what a highly technical job it is being coroner," Barron said. "The training and the experience that you need to have. I handled around 30,000 deaths and not one time did I ever rule the manner of death that was later determined to be incorrect. Not once."

An hour or so later, Barron had a challenger.

Former Batesburg and state transport police officer Clay Burkett also paid the $1,681 filing fee.

Burkett has not been a coroner but he said he does have the necessary people skills.

"The biggest thing with being the coroner is dealing with people," Burkett said. "And that's all I've done for my entire career is deal with people. Straight up, face to face."

Burkett's last attempt to win the office was derailed when he and hundreds of other candidates statewide ran into major confusion over filing qualifications.

Whoever wins, they will have a relatively short time on the job before they have to prepare to run again.

The victor in the upcoming special election will serve the remaining two years of the term of veteran coroner Harry Harman who died last month after more than 35 years in office.

One potential candidate has now decided not to join the field.

Charlie Benton told WIS Friday afternoon he won't seek the office because there's not enough time to put together an effective campaign.

Several people familiar with the situation have also identified former Lexington County deputy and coroner's office employee Brian Setree as a possible candidate.

WIS has been unable to reach him to confirm that information.

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