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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Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 08/05/12 - 07:04 pm
2
1
River, there's more education

River, there's more education in experience, than in the book.
You want someone to protect you who has read about it, or lived it?

Riverman1
83732
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 07:17 pm
2
1
The Chicken Sandwiches Were Not Bought at Chick-fil-A

The chicken passed out in the neighborhoods by the Peebles people were purposefully not purchased at Chick-fil-A. Was there a message in not utilizing them? (How's that for tactics?)

bushwhacker
39
Points
bushwhacker 08/05/12 - 07:27 pm
2
0
roundtree

I'm white, have a brother in law enforcement and voted for Silas. Ive put race aside and i'm voting for Roundtree. Augusta needs to put predjudice aside and do whats right for our county.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 08/05/12 - 08:02 pm
3
1
I agree, High anonymous or

I agree, High anonymous or named.

CobaltGeorge
158396
Points
CobaltGeorge 08/05/12 - 08:14 pm
3
1
I Have Monitored

every comment and post in regards to this important ARC sheriff race. I have yet made a comment on who I think is the best for that postion. I live in CC and really don't care except I hope and pray that whomever becomes sheriff will be the one that can eradicate the crime and corruption in your county. If I lived in Richmond county, I can assure you I would vote Republican because if you look real real close to a Democat ballot you will see in fine prints "Socialism"

The real truth of the matter is we should all be concentrating on the King versus American in November. If the King is re-elected it will make no difference who is sheriff in any county throughout the USA.

seenitB4
86997
Points
seenitB4 08/05/12 - 09:02 pm
2
3
Banned ??

Someone has been banned from these comments....Sean will have to ck this ....because my friends....if she is guilty ...so are many MORE on here!

seenitB4
86997
Points
seenitB4 08/05/12 - 09:10 pm
2
2
Stalking>>>

Sean I hope you are reading some of these comments....because I have some complaints to make too...
See you soon.

seenitB4
86997
Points
seenitB4 08/05/12 - 09:23 pm
3
2
People saw it

Many saw what happened here tonight.....it was bitter from 2 sides....so for one to go...ain't gonna get it!

rebellious
20770
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rebellious 08/05/12 - 10:33 pm
3
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I missed it!, But.....

Don't really know what I missed, but do know it was related to the Sheriff's election. Also know that the Chronicle et. al. has come out in spades to support one candidate. That being the case, the person(s) monitoring these comments should be on double secret alert. Why you ask..... They should bend over backwards to ensure the fair exchange of opinion and ideas. They should be aware that "flagging for review" should be viewed in context of the flaggers views as expressed on these pages. If not, what we have here is a biased censoring of the comments and a flagrant bias by the Chronicle. I promise you, I understand the complexity of being a moderator on this comment forum. But when in doubt, if a discussion becomes too heated, I strongly advocate the suspension of all parties involved, not just one, until the dust settles and tempers subside. Otherwise, the objectivity of the host becomes suspect, yea even suspicious. Tough Job to do, but if you are going to do it, do it right.

To quote Forrest Forrest Gump....."Thta's all I got to say about that".

HighSociety
1840
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HighSociety 08/05/12 - 10:46 pm
2
1
Rebellious, sorry you missed

Rebellious, sorry you missed it, but without knowing what was said you probably shouldn't have made your comment. The ac did the correct thing. The post were not only off topic, but down right hateful attacks. This is not the place to make personal attacks.

seenitB4
86997
Points
seenitB4 08/05/12 - 11:00 pm
2
1
Oh come now

The remarks were bitter from both ends....& this isn't the only time or the only person .....anyway ...it will be reported by others.

seenitB4
86997
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seenitB4 08/05/12 - 11:03 pm
2
1
seenitB4
86997
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seenitB4 08/05/12 - 11:06 pm
2
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High said

This is not the place to make personal attacks.

yeh ....by anyone...

goodnight

KSL
129205
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KSL 08/05/12 - 11:15 pm
1
0
I thought some remarks were

I thought some remarks were over the top and I probably did not see all of them.

rebellious
20770
Points
rebellious 08/05/12 - 11:45 pm
3
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High Society

Thanks for your comment. Fortunately, I run a redundant back up server, so everything said is recoverable. I will be reviewing and if warranted, any concerns will be addressed to the monitor. My comments were generic and stand as posted. In public domain chats, forums, or the like, parity is paramount, lest the sight loose credibility.
Otherwise, many like minded can "pile on" another and have them ejected. Now.....that wouldn't be fair would it?

Riverman1
83732
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Riverman1 08/06/12 - 06:08 am
3
0
About the Chronicle Support of SP

I know early on, comments were removed that shouldn't have been. I do think it's gotten better recently. Early I would bring up things about club owners trying to devise ways to sell more alcohol and such and linked it to SP's supporters. I supplied stories, quotes and so on. And one of them is a public figure who has run for office, I was told I was targeting him. Well, son of a gun. Ya think?

Recently comments with links to Sam Nicholson, Peebles' official campaign manager, to the late Bruno Ward of the strip club gang, have been left alone. So I do think they have tried to become a little more objective. Steve Crawford is fair it seems.

The biggest story to come out recently is the Peebles campaign supporters links to the shady strip club gang. Some of his supporters don't deny it; they just say it doesn't matter. That's being naive. The white church voters may decide to sit this one out if that is emphasized enough.

One of my all time favorite posts that few got the importance of was by a Peebles supporter who claimed she knew the late Bruno Ward and he wasn't influential. She said all he did was pay off the police and he didn't have any power. Heh, heh, heh.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/07/12 - 05:19 am
1
2
Draw your own conclusion

Based on a growing number comments.

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