Harrison McKnight has served as coroner for Williamsburg County for 43 years. For the past 21 years, William “B” Horton has served as the county’s Deputy Coroner. With McKnight retiring, Horton has stepped into the ring as a candidate for the Coroner’s job.
Ivori Henryhand is also seeking election as the county’s coroner, the position in South Carolina counties that is responsible for the investigation of deaths within a particular county.
Henryhand said she is seeking the office of coroner because she has a “vision for a fresh start” for that office.
“I am compassionate and believe that this is my true calling, to serve the citizens of Williamsburg County,” she said. She is a Kingstree Senior High graduate, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Charleston and completed her graduate certification in forensic death investigation at the University of Florida in 2018.
She is enrolled in the Death Investigation Training Academy, as required for coroners in the state.
She is one of the managing funeral directors at Henryhand Funeral Home, and an educator in the Williamsburg County School District. She said she believes “one of the most important duties of the coroner’s office is treating the deceased and their families with professionalism, respect and compassion in their time of need.”
Horton said he is seeking the job of coroner because he wants to help people, especially in times of crisis. “I have had the challenging experience of telling a parent in the middle of the night their child is not coming home, or telling friends of my family that their father/husband has been taken from them suddenly,” he said, adding “It is not a job I relish, but I try to use all of these cases as chances for me to be compassionate towards my fellow man and the citizens of this county. These experiences have helped me become a better servant and to value life.”
Horton is also a licensed funeral director and embalmer and has served 15-plus years as a volunteer firefighter. He is a former certified emergency medical technician.
Horton said the job of coroner is not an easy one and “the citizens of Williamsburg County deserve a dedicated, experienced coroner. Like I said before, I’ve been here with Mr. McKnight for the last 22 years and I know what needs to change and I know what needs to stay the same.”
Horton said he is asking the voters “of this county to look at my qualifications and ask anyone I have had dealings with about me. I feel like they will tell you I have treated all of them fairly and with respect”
Horton said when he is not working, and if he has spare time, he enjoys woodworking and college football.
Horton said he has maintained professional certifications over the years, including classes that cover death investigations, disaster training, response to terrorist attacks, epidemic and pandemic response training, and that he spent two weeks volunteering at the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Henryhand said she is “a proud member” of the following organizations: Lambda Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Lillie White Chapter of the Order of Eastern Stars and Kingstree Rotary Club. She has also completed the S.C. Democratic Party James E. Clyburn Political Fellowship, which offered leadership, policy, and campaign training to young professionals living in the state. Henryhand said her hobbies include volunteering in the community and attending church at Greater Bethel AME Church in Kingstree.