Well, it begins today, at least in Greenwood County.
Filing for the June Democratic and Republican primary elections opens at noon today at the Greenwood County Office of Elections and Voter Registration. Filing will remain open until noon March 30.
Soon the stump meetings and debates and “announcements” and candidate forums and yard signs and bumper stickers will become omnipresent.
And if it were just that simple, I wouldn’t be getting knots in my stomach simply thinking about the possibility of elections. If candidates would simply state THEIR platform and tell us what THEY would do if elected, races would be clean and simple and I wouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Granted, some races will be clean. For example, four years ago, Travis Moore and Robert Cone ran the epitome of a “gentlemen’s race” when they squared off for the Greenwood County Probate Judge seat. There have been other races equally as civil.
Alas, sometimes such races seem to be the exception, rather than the rule.
I remember quite a well a Republican primary race for the South Carolina Senate several years ago. In said race, a political consultant for one candidate hid in the bushes with a camera and filmed as allegedly illegal immigrants painted an opponent’s law office. The subsequent video was then used in an attack ad.
Crazy things will happen with political signs. Inevitably, a candidate will have a bunch of their signs stolen and will point the finger at their opponent.
During the primaries of 2012 (also known as the “Blankety-blankin’ primaries of 2012”), someone stole a political sign of a clerk of court candidate, wrote “Cris (sic) Trainor U go boy!” on it and planted it in the front yard of the Index-Journal building. I still have the sign at my desk.
Heck, a few years back, an advocate for a candidate for the state Senate filed a police report after one of his candidate’s large billboard-style signs apparently was taken down with a chainsaw during the night. A chainsaw!
Speaking of police reports, there will inevitably be some who will file to run for office who have criminal convictions in their background. Not charges, mind you. Convictions. Then they will get mad when we report it in the paper.
“Well sure, Chris, I killed a guy in cold blood back in 1977, but I really don’t see where that has anything to do with me running for public office,” the candidate will say.
Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit on that one. Maybe.



I’VE OFTEN THOUGHT OF RUNNING for public office. I think I’d be a natural fit.
After working at the paper for a decade, I’ve got a little name recognition. Granted, when many readers say my name, it’s often preceded and followed by curse words.
Through my years as a political reporter, I’ve spent time with Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, independents and beyond. One time I even interviewed a Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate. (News flash: He lost the race.)
I’m an avid watcher of “House of Cards,” so I’m well versed in high-level political treachery. “House of Cards” is a great show, by the way. Though it rises to the level of fantasy by depicting a U.S. Congressman from Gaffney as a Democrat.
They also don’t treat reporters very well on “House of Cards.” Put it this way, after the explosive beginning to season two, you’ll never catch me standing on a subway platform with U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan.
I’ve surveyed all the seats that are up for election in Greenwood County this year. In doing so, I’m giving heavy consideration to making good on a longtime threat/promise, which is to run for soil commissioner. This is despite the fact I have no idea what a soil commissioner does.
County elections director/all-around great person Connie Moody tells me there are two nonpartisan soil commissioner seats up for election in 2014. In order to run for soil commissioner, I would apparently have to file by petition, with petitions due no later than July 15.
Now, I will openly admit to you, I know very little about soil. In fact, I know nothing about soil.
If someone asked me to examine a soil sample, my analysis after doing so would probably be something like “Yep, that’s soil right there.”
Considering my lack of soil-based knowledge, the current soil commissioners whose seats are up this year — Brad Martin and William Robinson Jr. — probably have very little to worry about.
Still, I’m mulling my options and considering putting together a campaign team. Maybe I’ll even get some campaign yard signs that can be stolen, run over or taken down with a chainsaw.
Welcome to Election 2014: The Year of the Soil.

Trainor is the senior staff writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-943-5650; email ctrainor@indexjournal.com. You can follow him on Twitter @IJCHRISTRAINOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.