Republican crossover voters could influence sheriff's runoff

Thousands of Republican voters crossed over to vote in the July 31 Democratic Primary, which featured the hotly contested Richmond County sheriff’s race. Will they show up for Tuesday’s runoff and which candidate will it favor? An analysis by The Augusta Chronicle of voters in the primary suggest that sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles likely will be the beneficiary.

About half of the crossover votes were cast in 10 precincts, all of which were carried easily by Peebles. Voting records show that more than 90 percent of those crossover voters are white.

Peebles acknowledged that his campaign courted those crossover voters. It was part of his strategy, he said.

“We were definitely targeting all voters, not just one block,” he said. “I was trying to be the candidate that was appealing to both parties. That’s what elections are about, getting the most voters to vote for you.”

The Chronicle’s analysis identified about 5,100 voters who had voted as Republicans in the past eight years, but chose a Democratic ballot in the July 31 Primary. Of those voters, almost 3,000 had voted at least twice and as many as four times as Republicans in past primary elections.

Lowell Greenbaum, Richmond County’s Democratic Party chairman, was coy about saying who the crossover voters might benefit – Peebles or schools Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree.

“I don’t know who these people will vote for, but it will certainly have an effect,” he said. “Both candidates have to get their people out to vote.”

Roundtree, however, is sure the crossover voters didn’t cast ballots for him. He finished second in the primary with 11,744 votes to Peebles’ 13,938.

“If those 5,000 had not have crossed over, we would have won by about 3,000 votes,” Roundtree said.

Peebles said Roundtree’s objections to the crossover vote were a case of sour grapes.

“If a Republican came to Richard and said they wanted to vote for him, I’m sure he would be happy to get it,” he said.

Peebles’ campaign team is doing its best to make sure these crossover voters return to the polls Tuesday, knowing that they are key to his hopes of facing off in November against Republican primary winner Freddie Sanders.

“If people don’t understand that they need to come back out, we could lose the election,” Peebles said.

Roundtree said he needs to get new voters out, not just those that supported him on July 31. He said advance voting numbers have him encouraged.

“It is looking pretty good,” he said. “The numbers are comparable to those in the primary, but we’re just trying to get out those new voters.”

Roundtree said, however, it is “disheartening” to see people out to “desecrate the democratic process” by openly encouraging voters to change parties for one election.

He said crossover voters were influenced by local media, including a Chronicle editorial that urged Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary.

“They came out and begged Republicans to vote,” he said. “They said the (12th District) congressional race was not as important as the sheriff’s race.”

That race for the U.S. House representative has also come down to a runoff, between Augusta businessman Rick W. Allen and Grovetown state Rep. Lee Anderson. Some wonder whether having 5,000 Republicans opt out of voting in that race had an impact on those results.

“That is another question,” Greenbaum said. “How does if affect the race for Congress in the Republican party?”

That’s something Green­baum’s counterpart on the Republican side wonders as well.

“We don’t know what difference it would have been had the crossover not occurred,” said Bob Finnegan, the county GOP’s chairman.

Having another potential 5,000 voters in the mix could have influenced the outcome in the primary, he said. Those voters will not be available to either Republican on Tuesday. They are obligated to vote in the Democratic runoff, if they vote at all.

“I don’t anticipate as many will show up as last time,” Finnegan said. He speculated that most of those voters would have supported Allen because he outpolled Anderson in Richmond County.

“Of course that’s going to hurt him because they can’t support him now, even if they wanted to,” he said.

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fishman960
1420
Points
fishman960 08/18/12 - 09:51 pm
6
2
Peebles for Sheriff!

Everyone get out and vote for Scott Peebles for Sheriff!!!!! This will be a very close runoff and he needs your support again on the 21st!!!

janderson1945
1829
Points
janderson1945 08/19/12 - 12:18 am
6
2
Party politics should not

Party politics should not matter in any race but especially in the election of our Sheriff. No one in GA is a registered democrat or republican so we are not bound to vote in any specific primary and yes, the Sheriff’s race is extremely important for Augusta’s future. Captain Peebles will be a Sheriff for all of us and is the best man for the job. He needs our support on Tuesday no matter what our views are on national politics. Vote Peebles for Sheriff on Tuesday to help make Augusta better.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/07/12 - 05:28 am
7
2
crossed over

I think Richmond Co. voters as a whole have figured it out.

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 08/19/12 - 10:09 am
2
8
Don't Vote for Either One, Chief Freddie Sanders Is the Man

Stay home and don't vote for either one of them. With the information coming out about both of them I wouldn't support either one. Peebles connections are less than stellar. Look at the people closely involved with him. Roundtree we all know about and unless he has had a transformation of sorts why vote for him?

There's truly only one straight-up, truthful and authentic man in the contest that gives the same message to whites and blacks no matter the setting. He runs for the party he respects. Vote for Republican Chief Freddie Sanders in November and join the Tea Party revolution that's going to kick Democrats out of every office from President to county sheriff.

rational thought trumps emotion
2494
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 08/19/12 - 10:18 am
5
2
Vote Peebles on Tuesday

This runoff is between Roundtree and Peebles and Peebles is by far the clear choice. Your vote is needed on Tuesday to ensure the best man for the job is kept on the job. Democrat, Republican or Independent, if you want the best man for the job as our next Sheriff then elect the person who has laid out a clear vision for improving our county, Captain Scott Peebles. Go to the polls on Tuesday, August 21st and vote Peebles.

shelby547
255
Points
shelby547 08/19/12 - 10:37 am
6
0
One position

This is one position that anyone should vote in. There should not even be a republican vs democrat in the end. It should all be one vote regardless of their personal political beliefts.

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 08/19/12 - 11:06 am
2
7
Peebles-Nicholson-Blanchard

A vote for the Peebles-Nicholson-Blanchard ticket is a vote for Obama supporters. Now if that's what you want, have at it. Personally, I'd vote for the honest Republican, Chief Freddie Sanders in November.

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 08/19/12 - 11:22 am
6
0
Roundtree may be better

Roundtree may be better served in voting lessons. People are free to choose who they vote for and that IS the democratic process.. And let's also remember that our nation is a Republic process.

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 08/19/12 - 11:29 am
2
5
GA County Sheriffs Want Partisan Elections

County sheriffs in Georgia support keeping elections partisan everytime the issue of non-partisan elections is brought up. The reason is the county sheriff usually is the powerful head of the party.

So we have Peebles-Nicholson-Blanchard running as a Democrat in a county that is over 60% nonwhite. So are we playing racial politics or not? Huh? Chief Sanders is the only one who refuses to play the race card.

fishman960
1420
Points
fishman960 08/19/12 - 11:38 am
3
1
Voting

Some have suggested that we should vote for the party that they side with regardless how they feel about the candidate. I don't subscribe to 6that theory. Three politicians that now sit in Federal prisons have been 2 Republicans and 1 Democrat. I thought Williams and Shrenko were great people capable of great things. Can't be right all the time. I thought Sam Nunn was one of the best Senators from around here in a long time.
My point is that we vote for who we feel would best serve us and we are not always right. However I will not blindly vote for a particular ticket when I feel that the other ticket has a better candidate.
I vote Republican MOSTLY because that is the party I align with. I will not this time with the Sheriff's race.
And I guarantee you that if Roundtree wins this runoff, Sanders will not have a chance in ____ in November. So RM, you keep up that rhetoric and I assure you that the next Sheriff will be Richard Roundtree.

fishman960
1420
Points
fishman960 08/19/12 - 11:47 am
1
1
For the record

The Democrat that I was referring to was Walker. Sam Nunn did do great things for us and I respect him highly.

janderson1945
1829
Points
janderson1945 08/19/12 - 11:48 am
4
1
Fishman

All very valid points. We are also a conservative family and primarily vote republican but have been disappointed by party politics and for the most part vote for the person. Anyone who has even the slightest clue about Richmond County politics knows that whoever wins this primary will most likely be the next Sheriff. Either way, Scott Peebles is the best choice and needs our vote on Tuesday.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/07/12 - 05:30 am
3
2
Don't run off

This election must be about who is best qualified.

seenitB4
84282
Points
seenitB4 08/19/12 - 12:05 pm
2
0
Please stop putting words in Sanders mouth (the other side)

Freddie Sanders says....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOANdNuJXvs&feature=relmfu

He was raised in Richmond county
He loves Richmond county
He wants the best for Richmond county.....stop with the garbage throwing....

hotsaucemom
164
Points
hotsaucemom 08/19/12 - 12:05 pm
1
6
White Republican voters

White Republican voters jumped ship to voted for Republican Scott Pebbles,only in RichmondCounty were bias still exist, and alot of people don't want to take orders from a Black Sheriff ,but the underdog always does it big. Scott Pebbles is not the right person for the job. Black voters should be sick and tired of White law enforcement killing Black males everyday a Black male is killed by a white officers. Yesterday in Arkansaw a white officer killed a handcupped young Black in the back seat of his patrol car a shot to the head. Three days ago six White officers killed a Black male holding a in knife in his hand, but he never charged the officers and they fired sixty shots in Michigan when does it stop. Its important that Black voters go to the poll on Aug .21 and vote for Tree.To stop these bias killing on our Black male it must start at the top with the Sheriff who will fire officers immediately when they used overkill practices against young Black males.

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 08/19/12 - 12:06 pm
3
0
Funny Who Is Talking Manipulation

So we have a candidate running as a Democrat while winking at the Republicans in a county that's over 60% nonwhite and we're talking about Chief Sanders creating scenarios to have a chance at winning? Ha.

seenitB4
84282
Points
seenitB4 08/19/12 - 12:12 pm
3
0
RM they amaze me with that insult..

They have the nerve to tell us to stop talking....hahah....they can't ....one thing that stands out to me...Freddie is NOT lowrating any other candidiate.....he has class the others WISH they had.....sorry ...ya can't buy that!

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 08/19/12 - 12:14 pm
4
0
SeenIt, Chief Sanders is

SeenIt, Chief Sanders is truthful, honorable and a gentleman without baggage. He is sorely needed as the next sheriff. No phony endorsements from bogus black organizations and no pandering at forums.

fishman960
1420
Points
fishman960 08/19/12 - 12:18 pm
2
1
Roundtree

My opinion on Richard Roundtree has NOTHING to do with his race. My opinion is based on his actions when he was a RCSO and the whole fiasco of when he left.
When my wife crashed into three perps on a burglaring spree and subsequently fleeing from their stolen vehicle, there was found an assault rifle missing from the SD. It is my opinion that could have been the one left behind by Roundtree (no facts here, just assumption).
Roundtree left a mess and now he wants another chance?
I think Scott Peebles has earned his chance by his actions and that is how I am going to vote.
I don't care what color ANY of them are, I care about how their actions have proven their integrity!

seenitB4
84282
Points
seenitB4 08/19/12 - 12:18 pm
2
0
Risk WHAT???

You know I said I wasn't posting on here today...I see it as a waste of words.....but when some say that FREDDIE wants to risk the future of Richmond county....
I said NO WAY HOSEA......yall have gone over board.......the man will take a pay cut to do it.....he wants the BEST & KNOWS the job......he has been a gentleman throughout this contest....
The reason he is running is beacuse HE WANTS RICHMOND COUNTY TO THRIVE AGAIN...BE SAFE AGAIN...BE PROUD AGAIN.....so stop the low ball insults..

fishman960
1420
Points
fishman960 08/19/12 - 12:22 pm
3
0
Friends

RM1 and Seenit, I consider you friends. My feeling is that if Scott can't win against him how will Sanders win against him.
I am in no way disrespecting Freddie Sanders, I just think he can't win in November regardless who faces him.

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 08/19/12 - 12:25 pm
2
1
Fishman, just to be factual

Fishman, just to be factual no rifle was left by Roundtree. The handgun left was recovered. But there is a bigger question about that whole episode of whether Roundtree actually was promised the apartment would remain his until he got back from completing the FBI Academy Course.

seenitB4
84282
Points
seenitB4 08/19/12 - 12:28 pm
3
0
Republican vote

The rep. vote will be strong my friend....please don't forget that....some on here have ticked off many people...inside the RCSO & outside.....low balling won't win a race.......
The paper has gone overboard also in pushing for 1 candidiate....to be honest with ya...I'm surprised the blacks haven't called them out on THAT!!

So I'm leaving now......wouldn't have said anything if yall hadn't gotten so ugly on here.....you folks are something else.....funny.....pot calling us a color just won't get it!
RM you are wasting your breath today....they are going to beat this horse to death....:)

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 08/19/12 - 12:28 pm
3
0
We are at war with the left

We are at war with the left against us. The conservative vote is going to turn out like you've never seen. If we don't put Romney in the White House and Republicans in local, state and national offices, we're lost. Chief Sanders most certainly can pull this off against Roundtree.

fishman960
1420
Points
fishman960 08/19/12 - 12:35 pm
2
0
Riverman

Riverman thanks for the clarification. I stand corrected. However that will not change my opinion of the man. Truth be told I use to like the fact that we had our own "Shaft".
I say let the man back on the RCSO if he is eligible, but certainly not as Sheriff!
As far as Freddie Sanders, in just about every post that I have made, I have apologized to his camp for not supporting him.
Rest assured that if Tree wins, I will be campaigning for Sanders.
Again, I feel that Scott is the best man for the job pure and simple.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/07/12 - 05:32 am
1
1
The wrong issue used 2 ways

vocal commentators are in disagreement.

fishman960
1420
Points
fishman960 08/19/12 - 12:44 pm
2
0
Romney

RM I most certainly will be voting for Romney/ Ryan in November and I hope to ____ you are right about the Republican voters.
I would have no problem with Sanders winning by the way.

seenitB4
84282
Points
seenitB4 08/19/12 - 12:52 pm
3
0
Freddie ....his history.........

Sanders, a Richmond County native and graduate of Butler High School, was employed as a firefighter for about three years before getting a job as a sheriff’s dispatcher in 1969. He then worked briefly as an Augusta city police officer before returning to the sheriff’s department, where he moved up through the ranks, working in road patrol, vice and narcotics and violent crimes. He served as chief deputy under Sheriff J.B. Dyches.

During that period Sanders attended college and the Augusta Law School at night. He was admitted to the Georgia State Bar in 1981.

In 1983, he was named chief of the newly created Richmond County Police Department.

“The sheriff at that time had gone to jail, J.B. Dyches, and the commission created a police department on its own under home rule,” Sanders said.

In 1985, the county police department was dissolved, and Sanders took a job as a lawyer with Nixon, Yow, Waller and Capers. When the firm split in 1993, he became a member of Capers, Dunbar, Sanders, Bruckner and Bellotti, where he works today.

He has served as a prosecutor for the city of Augusta in Recorders Court and as a special assistant attorney general for the state of Georgia. He is also a certified polygraph examiner and a graduate of the Drug Enforcement Administration Academy.

Returning to law enforcement

Sanders said law enforcement is in his blood and he has always wanted to be part of it. He sees an opportunity to do that now that Strength is retiring, but it also is an opportunity to make some changes that he says are needed within the department.

For example, Sanders said the amount of training deputies receive before being sent out on patrol is insufficient.

“I think the pendulum needs to go back a little bit and we need to go back to some of the old ways,” he said. “I rode with a deputy for five years before I was issued a car, and I was never passed over. By the time I got a car I pretty much knew what to do.

“Now with the new ways, you go to school for about 10 weeks, you ride with a field training officer for a couple of months and they turn you loose with a car.”

seenitB4
84282
Points
seenitB4 08/19/12 - 01:01 pm
2
0
Open the closed minds please...

Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it. ~Doug Larson

Some folks are wise and some are otherwise. ~Tobias Smollett

I love a wise man.......thats all folks! thanks open for making me think of this.....

Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar. ~William Wordsworth

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. ~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wisdom outweighs any wealth. ~Sophocles

fishman960
1420
Points
fishman960 08/19/12 - 01:03 pm
2
0
Seenit

Seenit, you make a very good post about Freddie's qualifications. The man has done good things and certainly has earned his chance.
I respect his accomplishments.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I still feel Scott is the best man for the job.
And again, if Tree wins the runoff he will be the next Sheriff.
River, I don't have $5000.00 to bet on that but I will place a wager with you on that.

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