Freddie Sanders looks to south Augusta for edge in Richmond County sheriff's race

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 Though he works every day in a law office off Boy Scout Road, Freddie Sanders is a south Augusta man.

Republican Freddie Sanders referred to south Augusta as the race's "battleground" area.  SARA CALDWELL/FILE
SARA CALDWELL/FILE
Republican Freddie Sanders referred to south Augusta as the race's "battleground" area.

He grew up off Old Savan­nah Road, graduated from Butler High School and owns a house on Goshen Road. Many of his close friends can be counted among the pantheon of south Augusta’s political heavy hitters, including former Mayor Lar­ry Sconyers and sheriffs Char­lie Webster and Ronnie Strength.

So, it seems appropriate that his quest to become the next Richmond County sheriff could be won or lost in the voting booths of Augusta’s south side.

“That’s the battleground area of Richmond County,” said Sanders, who is running as a Re­publican in a county still dominated by Democratic politics.

“The south side is more integrated than the west side or the east side,” he said, explaining that he can likely count on strong support in “more Re­publican, more conservative” west Augusta.

His opponent, Richmond County schools Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree, will have distinct advantages in east Augusta and the city’s urban center, he said.

Voting in Richmond Coun­ty has a history of falling along racial lines. About 53 percent of registered voters are black and about 37 percent are white, according to Board of Elections statistics. Generally, the majority of blacks tend to support Democratic candidates.

Sanders said he understands that is the pattern, but not necessarily a rule.

“There are some black people who will only vote for a black candidate and there are some white people who will only vote for a white candidate, but those are the fringes,” he said. “Everyone else is in the middle.”

He thinks a large portion of that “middle” can be found in the neighborhoods south of Gordon Highway – primarily commission districts 5, 6 and 8 – where there is a more diverse mix of voters.

Sanders said in those neighborhoods he will have to work to move the numbers in his favor.

Voting statistics lend some support to that strategy. Though black voters dominate most south side precincts, the margins between white and black are slimmer than in east and west Augusta.

In the Democratic runoff Aug. 21, Roundtree defeated sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles by 455 votes. Most of that margin came from precincts in commission districts 5, 6 and 8.

Sanders thinks he can do better because he doubts Pee­bles received much support from the more than 2,500 voters who cast ballots in the primary for another son of the south side – sheriff’s Lt. Robbie Silas. About 68 percent of Silas’ votes came from those south side precincts.

“I think I can get those Silas voters,” Sanders said.

Courting those voters is the reason Sanders is opening a second campaign office on Peach Orchard Road. It will be a local base to recruit volunteers, have public meetings and organize his campaign to get voters to the polls Nov. 6, he said.

Sanders said he is counting on garnering votes from all backgrounds and ethnicities with his no-nonsense message of law and order and experience.

“We are trying to contact voters in all the neighborhoods,” he said. “I’m not going to give up on anybody.”

His chief campaign adviser, David Fields, said south Augusta has a lot of military transplants and middle-class voters who are less likely to follow racial lines in the voting booth.

“There are a lot more educated people in the Tobacco Road area who are going to vote for the candidate and not the color,” Fields said. “We feel like we can get 10 to 15 percent of the black vote. Some of the blacks won’t vote for Roundtree.”

Should Sanders be able to put together enough votes for a victory, his supporters know it will likely be hard won and very close.

“Well, I think it is doable, but I don’t think it is a cakewalk. We’ve got to work,” said former Commissioner Jimmy Smith, who is working with the campaign. “That’s why I’ve been asking people eyeball to eyeball if they will vote and if they will vote for Freddie.”

Key dates for election

OCT. 9: Last day to register to vote in the general election

OCT. 15: First day of advance voting

NOV. 2: Deadline to request an absentee ballot

NOV. 6: Election Day

Comments (11) Add comment
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OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 09/30/12 - 05:05 am
5
4
The South Side is the key.

Originally posted 9-29-12.
Last Edited as shown above.

  • (Left out the Name ROUNDTREE but was not surprise to find every one knew who I is was commenting about anyway.)
  • If you want, skills, ethics, business budget sense and professionalism in a sheriff? Look no further than Freddie.

    The South Side Steam Roller is moving.

    However, if documented past ethical issues, documented poor law enforcement skills, a documented love shack on county taxpayer time and money, friends that offer cars for votes, and more issues not listed all don't bother you, then you must not care what Roundtree has to offer as your sheriff.

    palmetto1008
    9782
    Points
    palmetto1008 09/29/12 - 10:19 pm
    5
    6
    Ive been waiting for someone
    Unpublished

    Ive been waiting for someone to ask the very obvious question in this entire sheriff fiasco, but since no one has, i will do it: why would an attorney be running for sheriff? It seems to me that it is equivalent to a successful mechanical engineer applying to be the supervisor of the assembly line. But I suppose I did answer my own question, I did say "successful."

    tealilly
    34
    Points
    tealilly 09/29/12 - 11:25 pm
    3
    9
    Open Curtain's Comments

    Open Curtain , Freddie Sanders is no better than Richard Roundtree. May the best man win in November! Tell Freddie, that he better get ready to rumble because I think Roundtree will fair VERY well in the South Augusta area. I think Freddie already know it. Is that the reason he plans on opening a headquarter out on Peach Orchard Road? I guess he thinks we're not educated enough to know that he's only doing this to get the black people in South Augusta to vote for him. We are tired of trying to be used only during election time, so that you can get our votes.

    We shall see! May the best man WIN!!

    OpenCurtain
    10049
    Points
    OpenCurtain 09/30/12 - 05:10 am
    10
    2
    Ever notice

    that none of Roundtree's political challengers have mentioned race as an issue?

    Every one of them has reached out to ALL sides during their campaign. They have kept it based on documented facts.

    But Roundtree and a number of his supporters have been play the race card from very early on.

    Like that Radio comment where he said he did not need or want White votes.

    Sheriff's must deal in facts. Facts are historical. Freddie Sanders has a clean Historical track record.

    However, Roundtree has a number of Historical Facts that clearly point out he is not Sheriff material.

    seenitB4
    93730
    Points
    seenitB4 09/30/12 - 07:02 am
    6
    1
    Question....why is he running....

    Answer....
    Some people care enough about Richmond county & want to make it the best it can be...not for the money..not for the fame...geeez....why will some make something sinister out of that!!
    If is not a secret that the county has crime ---repeat criminals---breakins galore......we read about it daily....patting on the head & saying please don't do it again just won't work----Richmond county needs the money to make the place safe .....he not only knows the job he also can help with the DANG MONEY FLOWING AGAIN....you need HIM!
    South Augusta has been written off by many--yall know that---change the direction.....yall dang well know what has happened....he can change it.

    seenitB4
    93730
    Points
    seenitB4 09/30/12 - 07:08 am
    6
    0
    The money

    I was told once that Hatfied & Sanders could get more money for Richmond county than any on the Sheriffs Dept.......
    I'm a realist....I know it will take that to change & correct problems in the county....he is more than a pretty face..☺

    soapy_725
    43949
    Points
    soapy_725 09/30/12 - 08:08 am
    1
    0
    Go Freddie !!!
    Unpublished

    Go!! Law and Order is what we need. Freddie is the man indeed. Fleming Community once tried to incorporate itself. Now they wish they had tried harder. In those days, the wave of more taxation and annexation was moving outward toward the Gordon Hwy from a failed tax base in the defunct CBD.

    HenryWalker3rd
    2393
    Points
    HenryWalker3rd 09/30/12 - 09:59 am
    1
    3
    Uh, Roundtree is just bold
    Unpublished

    Uh, Roundtree is just bold enough to say it....maybe o maybe that's why people like him.

    People in Augusta are tired of the "hush hush racism".

    Gage Creed
    18915
    Points
    Gage Creed 09/30/12 - 12:55 pm
    0
    2
    So in your face racism is

    So in your face racism is acceptable? You know...seeing as to how folks are tired of hush hush racism.

    AutumnLeaves
    9635
    Points
    AutumnLeaves 09/30/12 - 01:38 pm
    1
    0
    Racism in Augusta is not hush-hush.

    The racism I have been targeted by was not hush hush; it was loud, distressing and destructive, even when it was in the form of vandalism and other crimes. BTW, I am not black. I will not vote for Roundtree, likable or not. You can find someone to be personable and still understand not to vote for him; it's about his ability to do the job (or not, in this case), not his amiable personality or his race.

    rebellious
    21419
    Points
    rebellious 09/30/12 - 01:52 pm
    2
    0
    Hank

    Freddie has explained a lifelong desire to be Sheriff. What else would be someone's motivation, other than wanting to make a difference in the County he lives, works, and owns property in? I agree with Seenit that people who take the initiative, invest the countless hours, endure excoriation of their motives and character are to be applauded. They are stepping up to the plate. They are putting action behind words. Yet the benchwarming, pedestrian sideline sitting public looks at them as if they are criminals. Imagine if we ever reached a point where no one ran for office. Let someone else pull the cart, guide the ship, make the plans, etc...

    palmetto1008
    9782
    Points
    palmetto1008 09/30/12 - 04:37 pm
    0
    3
    If Mr. Sanders cared so much
    Unpublished

    If Mr. Sanders cared so much for the community in which he lives, works, and owns property, he could come up with a better campaign mantra. "Rounding them up and locking them up" doesn't solve any problems. He's apealling to the least educated voters.

    Gage Creed
    18915
    Points
    Gage Creed 09/30/12 - 08:41 pm
    3
    0
    Palmetto...that's YOUR

    Palmetto...that's YOUR opinion. I believe Mr. Sanders and others are entitled to their opinion.
    Unless you have ”empirical” evidence that yours is the only opinion that matters?

    rebellious
    21419
    Points
    rebellious 09/30/12 - 09:27 pm
    2
    0
    Sons of the Southside

    Steve, I like it. Sounds a lot better than the old worn out Southside Mafia. Son's of the Southside.... On A&E Tuesday Nights. The Acronym has to be S.o.S. How fitting. We could start a Motorcycle Club. Have a clubhouse, call church meetings when important decisions have to be made. Elect a president, have our "Old Ladies" wear leather and stuff. Come on Seenit, whatcha think? You could have a chapter up there.

    seenitB4
    93730
    Points
    seenitB4 10/01/12 - 06:20 am
    3
    0
    rebel

    Palmetto is just trying to rile us ......heh heh...get us off track....ain't gonna work pal.....
    We know the man (Freddie) we know what he stands for....we know Augusta needs him...I'll use my energy working to get him elected....

    AutumnLeaves
    9635
    Points
    AutumnLeaves 10/03/12 - 06:38 pm
    0
    0
    Freddies Sanders for Sheriff.

    Sanders is the best qualified man and has the proven character to back up his abilities for the job.

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