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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Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/05/12 - 02:42 pm
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So why would anyone want an

So why would anyone want an Obama bumper sticker on his car? Is that pandering and playing the racial vote or what?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/05/12 - 02:48 pm
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I'm glad Steve Crawford wrote

I'm glad Steve Crawford wrote this story. He knows what's going on in town in ways he can write about and some he can't. The biggest reveleation coming out recently with this election is the shady connections to the highest people in the Peebles' camp. Roundtree has lots of baggage, but that's been written about ad nausea. Not so much the Peebles baggage.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/05/12 - 02:52 pm
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It matters to me very much

It matters to me very much who the sheriff supports for president. I never heard Ronnie Strength saying he wanted a Kerry bumper sticker.

HighSociety
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HighSociety 08/05/12 - 02:54 pm
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Did anybody want a Kerry

Did anybody want a Kerry sticker?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/05/12 - 03:18 pm
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Did any conservative want an

Did any conservative want an Obama sticker?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/05/12 - 03:23 pm
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Another Election Analysis

What if Peebles wins the Democratic nomination in the run-off, but blacks are so angered they do some of their own Operation Chaos in November? Wouldn't that be something. Freddie has a real shot at this thing...either way.

HighSociety
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HighSociety 08/05/12 - 03:34 pm
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Can you tell me where the

Can you tell me where the President will have anything to do with the Sheriff of RC? Or the last time you seen any President with or around any Sheriff in the CSRA? You haven't.The bottom line is it doesn't matter. It's just another little RM tactic.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/05/12 - 03:38 pm
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If a sheriff chooses to not

If a sheriff chooses to not enforce the law because of the Obama's administration, Eric Holder type edicts such as those on illegal immigration it most certainly would affect everyone in the CSRA.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/05/12 - 03:39 pm
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Democrats and organized crime

Democrats and organized crime running cities go together.

HighSociety
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HighSociety 08/05/12 - 03:40 pm
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I never said Sanders didn't

I never said Sanders didn't have a chance, but it will be a slim chance no matter who he faces.

rebellious
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rebellious 08/05/12 - 04:11 pm
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Riverman

Are you using tactics again. I thought you had been warned against that.

The question goes to electability, as I see it. Qualifications have nothing to do with this race as the average voter doesn't give two looks at such trivia. The electability of the candidate is the best way to handicap a race, I believe.

That being said, Black voters will vote for one of thier own. I don't care what you say about voting for the man, not the race, or looking at qualifications. If you then consider the following logic, you can choose how to vote in the run-off.

If you ultimately want Scott Peebles for sheriff, vote him in the run-off, then campaign like hell for him in the general election, because a lot of the crossover vote will pull behind Freddie.

If you want Roundtree for sheriff, vote him all the way through the run-off and general.

If you want Freddie Sanders, I believe you must send Peebles to the general election. I don't believe Freddie Sanders can beat Roundtree in the general election for the following reasons: As previously mentioned, Black folks will vote for black folks in Augusta. Sure quote me the stats on Deke and Matt Aitkin all day long, but look at the caliber of the opponent and the dollars spent in those campaigns. Also Freddie's message resonates well with older blacks and whites who long for the good old days of law and order. Not so much with the younger, single parents who associate with those on the fringe or outside of the law.

Just my opinion, and you know what those are like!

seenitB4
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seenitB4 08/05/12 - 04:31 pm
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Rebel??

Sooo let me see if we want Freddie to win...we should push for SP now.....are you saying I need to back track & change my postings??

Weel...that would be time consuming....heh heh....omg......what a mess we have to unwind....
Just don't think I can do that....Give me straight talking Republican Freddie......let the chips fall.. :):)

seenitB4
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seenitB4 08/05/12 - 04:33 pm
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Oh yes

I know what opinions are like....heck we see them on here all day..:)

seenitB4
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seenitB4 08/05/12 - 04:42 pm
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HS said

It's just another little RM tactic.

Yeh....He has a pocket full of them...hahahah..

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/05/12 - 04:57 pm
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I had a moderator on another

I had a moderator on another forum tell me that once. I was using tactics. Well, duh, I'll have to dumb things down. Heh. But whatever you say about me, I have NEVER seen anyone come on here like KSM. She can figure out ANYTHING in about two minutes. Who someone really is or what have you takes her about two posts to determine. Hilarious. KSM is shock and awe personified.

HighSociety
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HighSociety 08/05/12 - 05:02 pm
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I know what opinions are

I know what opinions are like....heck we see them on here all day..:)

Thanks for the mention! :)

seenitB4
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seenitB4 08/05/12 - 05:05 pm
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You are welcome! ksm is

You are welcome!

ksm is smething else.....she is like a bloodhound....heck the police need to hire HER!

Karen Slater-McDaniel
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/05/12 - 05:29 pm
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Oh no HS ... I would never

Oh no HS ... I would never put you on my ignore list ... I don't believe you are any crazier than I am. Matter of fact, you probably have as much natural instinct and intuition as I do on what is what, and also know how to use it. The only difference in you and I that I can see is that my personality never changes from one article to the next and I do not ever deny what I have said and how I feel. I pretty much put it out there and call it like I see it. I don't consider anything in life to be a popularity contest and couldn't give a rats butt what people say or think. That is not putting you down (and not meant to be that way) that is just my personality and I do not apologize for it.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/05/12 - 05:35 pm
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But since everyone wants to

But since everyone wants to play up one candidates education and qualifications then I really feel the need to make the playing field even and put some truth out there. Now someone else can come on and quote Peebles classes, etc. but I will put the differences and similarities out there between who had their college degree, in what, and what year, that I know for certain:

Peebles:
FBI National Academy (22 week course NOT "the" FBI Academy)
BA- Criminal Justice, 2012
Command College, 2011

Roundtree:
FBI National Academy (22 week course NOT "the" FBI Academy)
BS- Criminal Justice, 1991
Master’s Degree - Psychology & Counseling, 2006
State Certified - General Instructor, Senior Instructor, Firearms Instructor
Defensive Tactics Instructor
Arson Investigator
S.W.A.T. Instructor, Levels I, II & III
Adjunct Instructor - Blythe Regional Police Academy & Augusta Tech Police Academy - Specializing in Criminal Law, Robbery Investigations, Burglary Investigations, Interviews & Interrogations.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/05/12 - 05:44 pm
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True that the POTUS does not

True that the POTUS does not typically have a direct relationship with the Sheriff of RCSO but here is what does happen with the election on the POTUS. People will either vote Democratic to keep the current POTUS or vote Republican to get rid of the current POTUS. Now, you cannot pull a Republican ballot and vote for a Democratic POTUS; just like you cannot pull a Democratic ballot and vote for a Republican POTUS. So what will happen? Will RC voters in November stick to their Republican roots to oust a Democratic POTUS or will they crossover and vote Democratic to have a Democratic leader of RCSO? It cannot be both ways. This is exactly what happened on July 31st and we see what happened in the Congressional race. This could haunt a lot of people come November and all for what?

I am sorry but I am much more concerned about the state of affairs in WASHINGTON than I am about the state of affairs in RICHMOND COUNTY!

Keep on crossing over and see what that is going to bring our country come January 2013. Hope your little Sheriff's race is worth what happens to us and the rest of our country!

Karen Slater-McDaniel
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/05/12 - 05:51 pm
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Lol ... SeentIt and RM ... I

Lol ... SeentIt and RM ... I told you I could never be a LEO, GBI, FBI, CIA because NO ONE in their right mind would want to give me a weapon!!! haha ... I'd still be following that old "shoot to kill" directive from many years back :p

seenitB4
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seenitB4 08/05/12 - 05:57 pm
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Yep....you would hit the target

Now I have to get busy with bill paying.......so seeya in the am .....
I'm hearing many females are wanting ole Tree to win,......:)

Happy posting...

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/05/12 - 09:50 pm
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Not Quite

Karen, I love your posts, but you missed the mark on your 5:44 pm. In November, there will be no "Republican" ballots nor "Democrat" ballots. November is a general election. You will have a choice between either Peebles or Roundtree versus Sanders. And you will also have a choice between Obama versus Romney. You will also have a choice between Barrow versus either Rick Allen or Lee Anderson.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/05/12 - 06:31 pm
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Not if you are a TRUE

Not if you are a TRUE Republican or TRUE Democrat ... I would never consider crossing a party line. I vote straight Republican no matter what because that is the party that reflects my beliefs. I voted Democratic once in my life and that was 1992 Presidential election. You can bet I didn't vote to re-elect Clinton. Fool me once ... lol ... you know the rest.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/05/12 - 06:32 pm
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But thanks LL. I did say

But thanks LL. I did say COULDN'T when I meant SHOULDN'T based on your true affiliation. :)

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 08/05/12 - 06:33 pm
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You've got to love it, Scott supporters

KSM is now a Roundtree supporter. This is the best news I've heard yet; a virtual assurance of his defeat.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 08/05/12 - 06:37 pm
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Hey, put me on your ignore

Hey, put me on your ignore list. You promised!

Karen Slater-McDaniel
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/05/12 - 06:56 pm
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HS ... surely you READ my

HS ... surely you READ my entire post well enough to see in the very first paragraph it says that I'd leave the accolades for Peebles up to someone else.

*sorry HS ... it is in the second paragraph

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/05/12 - 06:45 pm
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It does appear Roundtree has

It does appear Roundtree has the advantage in formal education. He has had a BS degree for over 20 years and also has a Master's degree. On the other hand, Peebles just got his college degree last year.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 08/05/12 - 06:50 pm
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It seems you have some other

It seems you have some other experience. Lol

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