- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2020

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina coroner has held his seat for almost 30 years without any opposition.

But that changes this year.

Greenville County’s coroner, Parks Evans, will be challenged by former Greenville Police Capt. Stacey Owens, WSPA-TV reported.

The statewide primary is scheduled Tuesday. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Evans said his 29 years of experience in the post is invaluable, and that the systems currently in place run smoothly.

“Experience matters especially during these times of the COVID pandemic,” Evans said. “And we’re working daily on changes that are happening because of the COVID virus, and that’s just something you couldn’t do if you didn’t have experience.”

He said he’s also looking towards the future.

“We’ve got several things that we’re working on. We want to get the office nationally accredited. You know that’s a long process that we’re trying to work through,” Evans said.

In a 100 day plan, Owens said he wants to address several things very quickly. One of those is also national accreditation, but he plans to implement multiple procedures along with that.

“Policies and procedures have to be addressed immediately and those are easy things to do,” Owens said. “That goes along with field training for the deputy coroners.”

Additionally, Owens wants to change the deputy coroner’s normal work schedule to save overtime expenses and improve the work quality.

“They’re working a lot of hours, extended hours, and I want to be able to look at that schedule, tweak it some to where they’re not having to work so much,” Owens said.

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