Scott Peebles, Richard Roundtree have different strategies in sheriff's runoff

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The two candidates in the Democratic runoff for Richmond County sheriff have different strategies to win Aug. 21.

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EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles has been reaching out to some supporters of defeated candidates Robbie Silas and John Ivey, his campaign manager said.

Sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles will be happy if the same group of voters comes back to the polls. Schools Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree also wants his supporters to return – and to bring their friends and neighbors.

Roundtree said the key for his campaign is to motivate people to vote. He said his campaign is working neighborhoods with low turnout to encourage those who didn’t cast a vote Tuesday to do so Aug. 21.

“The numbers are there, but it is about getting people to the polls,” he said. “People just don’t realize how much power that they have in these elections.”

Hoping for higher turnout in a runoff could be wishful thinking, if history is any judge. In most recent examples, turnout in runoffs has been far less than general elections or primaries. In 2008, turnout for the general primary was about 23 percent, and in 2010 about 14 percent. In both subsequent runoffs, turnout dropped to about 8 percent.

Tuesday’s turnout exceeded 34 percent of registered voters, which Board of Elections Director Lynn Bailey said was high. But even with a lot of interest in the sheriff’s election, Bailey and others expect fewer voters Aug. 21.

There is one recent example of a runoff in which turnout increased, however.

In the 2005 mayor’s race, Willie Mays and Deke Copenhaver came in first and second in a general election with four candidates and a 41 percent turnout. In the runoff, turnout surged to 45 percent and Copenhaver won with 56 percent of the vote.

Roundtree, who came in second in the primary, said he is confident voters will come out if they know what is at stake.

“People like to vote for a cause,” he said. “They want something to rally behind to be part of the election process. We are trying to get them motivated to be a part of it.”

Expecting more voters is not in Peebles’ plan.

Though the captain is reaching out to a wide array of voters, his campaign manager said the main strategy is to persuade those who voted Tuesday to return for the runoff. That includes pulling in some of those who voted for the other Democratic candidates – Lt. Robbie Silas and Lt. John Ivey – who won a total of about 15 percent of the primary vote, said attorney Sam Nicholson, who is heading Peebles’ campaign.

“Scott has been reaching out to some of the Silas and Ivey supporters,” Nicholson said. “We just hope our voters will come back to the polls.”

Nicholson said the campaign’s analysis of primary results shows Peebles attracted a broader swath of voters from across the county than Roundtree, which he sees as a distinct advantage.

An analysis by The Augusta Chronicle of Tuesday’s results confirms what Nicholson found. In precincts dominated by black voters, Roundtree outpolled Peebles by an average of 52 percent to 34 percent. In predominantly white precincts, Peebles outpolled Roundtree on average 65 percent to 19 percent of votes cast. In five white-majority precincts, Roundtree received less than 10 percent of the vote, below 2 percent in one of those precincts. The least Peebles received in any black-majority precinct was about 20 percent of the vote.

“That’s pretty good penetration into the black community,” Nicholson said, attributing those numbers to Peebles’ efforts to campaign in predominantly black neighborhoods and to reach out to all voters.

“He made special effort to do that. It was a big, big part of his campaign,” Nicholson said. “He wants to be sheriff for all the people of Richmond County. He’s made that plain to everybody.”

Roundtree said that is what he wants as well, but the reality is that most residents in the county are black and that is where most of his votes will be coming from.

He said he will have to overcome what he thinks were a large number of Republican-leaning voters who crossed over to vote in the Democratic primary. He said more than 30,000 votes were cast for sheriff’s candidates in the Democratic primary, but none of the unopposed Democrats in other races received anything near that total. Steven Kendrick, the incumbent tax commissioner, received the most votes of any unopposed Democrat – 23,207.

Roundtree said that indicates there were a lot of voters interested in voting in only one race.

“I think what we got was the true Democratic vote,” he said.

He said a big part of his message will be to emphasize that voters could be taking part in an historic election.

“They could elect the first African-American sheriff of the largest sheriff’s department in Georgia. That’s a big deal,” he said. “It is going to happen eventually. Why not now? Why not be a part of it?”

Ballot breakdown

PRECINCTS           PEEBLES     ROUNDTREE

Majority-white         65 percent     19 percent

Majority-black         34 percent      52 percent

Total                        47 percent   39 percent

Runoff rules

Who can vote in the Aug. 21 runoff election?

1. Voters who chose the Democratic ballot in the July 31 primary election may vote in the runoff for Richmond County sheriff but not in the runoff for U.S. House District 12.

2. Voters who chose the Republican ballot in the July 31 primary election may vote in the runoff for U.S. House District 12 but not in the runoff for Richmond County sheriff.

3. Voters who selected the nonpartisan ballot in the July 31 primary election may vote in either but not both runoffs.

4. Registered voters who did not vote in the July 31 primary election may vote in either but not both runoffs.

Who cannot vote in the Aug. 21 runoff election?

Those who have not registered to vote, or did not register before the July 2 deadline.

Comments (62) Add comment
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rational thought trumps emotion
2549
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 08/04/12 - 09:39 pm
16
2
Help Elect Peebles

Roundtree is sticking with his same message and only courting the black vote since that is the majority. His message is to elect an African American. Boy, that’s and all inclusive message that will bring our community together and move it forward in the right direction. Peebles on the other hand has worked hard all over Richmond County by having dinners and meetings in all of the community centers and rec centers from downtown to south and west Augusta. But, the real reason he needs to be elected is that he is bar far the best prepared candidate for the job. Peebles has clearly demonstrated he will work with and for ALL of Augusta to make is a safer place to live and raise a family. He needs our help and support on 8/21 in this runoff election so let’s make sure we get out there and show Scott Peebles our support.

greggarn
153
Points
greggarn 08/04/12 - 09:44 pm
1
16
Help Help

A chicken sandwich for your vote... Peoples, what did you give in the other parts of the city?

fishman960
1444
Points
fishman960 08/04/12 - 10:06 pm
13
2
Help elect Peebles

RTTE you took the words right out of my mouth. Peebles is by far better qualified than ANYONE else in the race. The need to elect Roundtree just because he is black and RC is a majority black is just plain wrong. Scott is the best man for the job hands down. He has my vote again.

triscuit
2997
Points
triscuit 08/04/12 - 10:59 pm
12
0
“They could elect the first

“They could elect the first African-American sheriff of the largest sheriff’s department in Georgia. That’s a big deal,” he said. “It is going to happen eventually. Why not now?

I'll tell you why not now...because you, Roundtree, are not the best person for the job. Being black has nothing to do with it. With his background with the sheriff's dept. and other public issues, if he were a white, he would not have even been considered a serious candidate. Just the fact that he is courting only the black vote proves he is content playing the race card. He's not the man we need. Peebles is. When a qualified and honest black candidate decides to run for the sheriff's race, he won't have a problem winning the vote of all Augustans.

triscuit
2997
Points
triscuit 08/04/12 - 10:59 pm
10
0
“They could elect the first

“They could elect the first African-American sheriff of the largest sheriff’s department in Georgia. That’s a big deal,” he said. “It is going to happen eventually. Why not now?

I'll tell you why not now...because you, Roundtree, are not the best person for the job. Being black has nothing to do with it. With his background with the sheriff's dept. and other public issues, if he were a white, he would not have even been considered a serious candidate. Just the fact that he is courting only the black vote proves he is content playing the race card. He's not the man we need. Peebles is. When a qualified and honest black candidate decides to run for the sheriff's race, he won't have a problem winning the vote of all Augustans.

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/04/12 - 11:04 pm
8
1
Peeps for Peebs
Unpublished

saw that on another site last week.. But yeah, I'm for The Peebs.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 08/05/12 - 01:53 am
2
8
Race card??
Unpublished

Its Augusta, race always matters....just look at the breakdown the Chronicle gave you.

Are you sure the AC printed ALL of Roundtree's words, or just cherrypicked ones?

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/05/12 - 02:01 am
3
0
Is that Sharon Osborne
Unpublished

standing behind The Peebs in that photo?

seenitB4
85802
Points
seenitB4 08/05/12 - 03:05 am
3
2
Roll the dice

You can roll the dice all you please....I hope the Rep. vote comes out in Nov.

Polls are not always correct...

seenitB4
85802
Points
seenitB4 08/05/12 - 03:21 am
3
2
AC do this

Check the yards & see how many have 2 signs in front....one for SP & one for RTree......this will happen ......

Riverman1
82445
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 06:07 am
5
0
Who was giving away chicken

Who was giving away chicken sandwiches for votes? Can someone explain that?

Gage Creed
16786
Points
Gage Creed 08/05/12 - 08:11 am
6
0
If the AC didn't print

If the AC didn't print Roundtree's comment's verbatim I'm we would hear from a grateful mother....

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 08/05/12 - 09:05 am
0
0
just who is counting black and white voters?
Unpublished

interesting that someone knows how many black or white votes a candidate receives. does everyone coming out of the polling booth declare their selections and race? we are not talking districts or neighborhoods. interesting the the US Government is the most racist organization in America. every single piece of paper asks for race while constantly preaching "without regard to race, sex, religion, orientation, etc.. a race obsession in a country that is race neutral. imagine how little news there would be each day if defining one's race was illegal.

Riverman1
82445
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 09:15 am
2
2
I wonder whether the women

I wonder whether the women employees of the RCSO voters are supporting Roundtree or Peebles? I know some of the women must have mixed feelings and support both of them.

boomhauer
650
Points
boomhauer 08/05/12 - 10:38 am
1
0
After doing my homework,
Unpublished

After doing my homework, Scott Peebles has my vote hands down. Race doesn't matter to him, he's worked hard, and he has good ethics and morals.

To the racists people of Augusta (you and we know who you are), the real Sheriff will win this election.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/07/12 - 05:19 am
5
1
I declare

What happen to being elected the old fashion way, because you
have what it takes and earned it?

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3099
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/05/12 - 11:07 am
2
3
Funny ... I thought Roundtree

Funny ... I thought Roundtree meant that the crossover REPUBLICANS who voted for Peebles are not true DEMOCRATS. Which would be a correct statement & not a slip.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 08/05/12 - 11:36 am
0
5
Sneaky.
Unpublished

If Peebles was such "The Man", then why switch parties?

Augusta Politics @ it's finest, yet, this election is not about race?!

Riverman1
82445
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 12:59 pm
1
2
High Society, Talking Personal Things Now?

HS, are we going to talk about the personal problems with officers supporting candidates. I could have decimated the Waynesboro group who tried that trick.

Plus, how about the strip club connections of the biggest supporters of Peebles? Huh? You know what goes down there. One of your supporters said it best on here. He said one of the gang down there didn't have any power. It was said all they did was pay off the police and didn't influence anything else. Ha..now that's funny. I wonder how the church people feel about being in bed with that crowd?

Riverman1
82445
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 01:27 pm
3
2
Playing Race is Wrong

The problem is the only reason whites run as Democrats is because that's the only way they can be elected in predominantly black Richmond County. We all KNOW that. Freddie is the only one honest about it all. He walked into the NAACP and told them straight up what the deal is with him.

Riverman1
82445
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 01:52 pm
1
2
Well, to be fair

To be fair, reading KSM's post above, it’s hard to categorize Peebles’ supporters. Sometimes the lines blur and they meet the requirements for all types opposed to Roundtree. Heh.

Riverman1
82445
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 01:49 pm
1
2
HS, I dang sure wouldn't

HS, I dang sure wouldn't choose the white heart surgeon who attended NAACP meetings saying he was one of them, passing out chicken sandwiches in the neighborhoods and wearing his pants dropping down with a pic in his hair.

janderson1945
1843
Points
janderson1945 08/05/12 - 02:03 pm
5
0
I would have to say I agree

I would have to say I agree with River and KSM, there is no need to talk bad about another candidate or their supporters. Peebles is clearly the best choice as our next Sheriff. His qualifications, experience and record of putting criminals where they belong speaks for itself as well. His plan for improving upon a good department helps seal the deal.

Riverman1
82445
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 02:11 pm
1
1
Election Analysis

A key point is that Peebles had all his voters turn out the first time with his heavily funded campaign. Roundtree has a grassroots campaign and those types tend to improve with time. As he said, he has the numbers of potential voters and all he has to do is get them to come out. Lots of them didn't vote, but they may show up this time due to all the excitement in the black community.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 08/05/12 - 02:20 pm
1
1
RM, I agree with your 2:11

RM, I agree with your 2:11 post.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3099
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/05/12 - 02:30 pm
2
1
#1Roundtree pulling out Silas

#1Roundtree pulling out Silas tricks.
#2 Fishy First Friday (from other article ... high up person on his campaign staff is a relative of the bridge guy).
#3 Nesbitt was ran off. Has criminal record.
#4 Expects people to vote for him just because he's black.

Terms of endearment and praises for Roundtree? Wow!

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3099
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/05/12 - 02:35 pm
2
0
Take a poll & ask the black

Take a poll & ask the black community whether they voted for Obama because of his qualifications or because they wanted to see a man of color in the office of POTUS? I'd wager to bet the latter is true more often than not.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 08/05/12 - 02:36 pm
3
1
KSM, I thought you added me

KSM, I thought you added me to the ignore list? Guess you missed the drama. :)

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 08/05/12 - 02:38 pm
4
1
Yep and look where that has

Yep and look where that has got us.

Little Lamb
45379
Points
Little Lamb 08/05/12 - 02:41 pm
4
0
Hope and Change

HighSociety posted:

The [argument] that will have the biggest impact is the “let’s make history and make me the first black sheriff of Georgia.” The scary thing is people will vote for him just because he's black, and not because he's the best candidate.

Well, that strategy worked for Barak Obama in 2008.

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