4 candidates may compete for Richmond County sheriff

Lt. Richard Roundtree plans to announce Thursday he will run for sheriff.

 

The race for Richmond County sheriff is starting to get crowded.

With Sheriff Ronnie Strength stepping aside, there are at least four others who say they are ready to compete for his position.

Sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles announced his intentions Monday, and sheriff’s Lt. Robbie Silas said he plans to make a formal announcement, too, probably by Friday.

Both Peebles and Silas said they are working to organize their campaigns this week. Peebles will run on the Democratic ticket, but Silas said he is weighing his options.

Historically, the winner of the Democratic primary has gone on to win the general election in November, many times unopposed.

With several candidates running, however, Silas said he also is considering qualifying as a Republican, which could keep him in the race against whoever survives the primary in July.

“I haven’t made a decision yet,” Silas said.

Richmond County School Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree said he has nothing to consider.

“I am a Democrat,” he said Tuesday.

Although he hasn’t held a news conference, Roundtree has established campaign headquarters on Broad Street and an official campaign Web site.

He also has a fundraiser set for later this month. Roundtree acknowledged that his campaign has been gearing up for a while.

“The last
three months, we’ve been preparing
for this campaign because we knew the sheriff wasn’t going to run,” he said. “I’ve been working for three months, and I’ve been preparing myself for five years.”

His formal announcement will come at 10 a.m. Thursday at Beulah Grove Baptist Church.

A fourth candidate also intends to join the race. Sheriff’s Lt. John Ivey said he will make an official announcement later this week.

Ivey is a longtime sheriff’s deputy who worked for the Augusta Police Department before the city and county governments consolidated.

He is in charge of administering polygraph tests for the sheriff’s office.

Peebles said he has heard a couple of other names of possible candidates still waiting in the wings, so the field could expand even further before qualifying ends May 25.

Peebles said he welcomes the competition.

“It’s going to get interesting,” he said.

 

COMING SUNDAY

Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength talks about the highs and lows during his 11 years as Richmond County’s top cop, and The Augusta Chronicle profiles those who want to be the new sheriff in town.

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