Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength has thrown his support behind Republican candidate Freddie Sanders in the race to succeed him.
Strength, who backed sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles in the Democratic runoff, announced his endorsement by news release Monday afternoon.
“Without hesitation or second thoughts, I will endorse and support my close friend Freddie Sanders for Richmond County Sheriff in the November General Election,” Strength said in the release.
Sanders will face school public safety Lt. Richard Roundtree, who defeated Peebles in last week’s runoff.
“Voting for and electing a Sheriff should not be about Democrat or Republican,” Strength, who has run as a Democrat in each of his elections, said in his statement. “It should be about the most qualified person.”
Roundtree issued a statement of his own Monday afternoon, acknowledging the sheriff’s position.
“I certainly understand and respect the sheriff’s decision to support his friend,” he said. “Endorsements are fine but I have always said this is the people’s campaign. The response of the people has been tremendous.
“I respectfully disagree with the sheriff about his statement concerning political parties but I reach out my hand and ask every person for their support. Only by working together can we bring the community together, heal any wounds and work towards a brighter future.”