In a statement issued Friday morning, Peebles said he would be casting his vote for school public safety Lt. Richard Roundtree because the two have similar ideas and philosophies about what the next sheriff needs to do.
“By comparing our campaign platforms, it’s easy to see why I’ve chosen to support Richard Roundtree,” Peebles’ statement said. “Our fundamental ideas regarding the direction of law enforcement are nearly identical. From Community Oriented Policing to a Citizens Advisory Board, Richard and I have a very similar vision, and I look forward to seeing that vision realized.”
Peebles said that since the Aug. 21 runoff, in which Roundtree defeated him by 447 votes, he has been “inundated with calls from supporters who have asked who I’m now supporting in the race for Richmond County Sheriff.”
Peebles said he encouraged other voters to do their own research and decide for themselves whom they should support.
“This is all I will have to say publicly about the race for Sheriff,” the statement said. “No further statements or interviews will be conducted and no further comment will be made.”
Roundtree issued his own statement thanking his former opponent.
“Although the campaign was tough, Scott and I have always worked well together,” the statement said. “As your Sheriff, he and I will continue our efforts to keep our city safe and engage in proactive law enforcement strategies.”
Roundtree said the endorsement was a “step towards healing this community” and urged his supporters to offer their thanks to Peebles and to work toward building a safer community.
When reached by phone, Sheriff Ronnie Strength said he had “nothing to say” about Peebles’ endorsement. Republican candidate Freddie Sanders, who has been endorsed by Strength, said he didn’t expect Peebles’ endorsement to have any effect on the election.
“I just find it strange that they fought with (Roundtree) tooth and nail and tried to get all the Republicans to cross over and vote, and now he has endorsed him,” he said.
Sanders said he had reached out to Peebles after the runoff to encourage him to stay with the sheriff’s office, but he did not make any promises nor did he ask for an endorsement from Peebles.
He said it’s just another example of the adage “politics makes strange bedfellows,” and he holds no ill will toward anyone.
“If Richard wins, good for them, and if he doesn’t then Scott’s fine with me,” he said.