Roundtree wins sheriff's race

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 9:56 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 2:46 AM

Richard Roundtree made history Tuesday – becoming Richmond County’s first black sheriff in the office’s 230 years.

Back | Next
Richmond County Sheriff-elect Richard Roundtree gets a hug from Randi Ebron-Frails, 5, the daughter of his campaign adviser, Randolph Frails, at the Legends Club.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Richmond County Sheriff-elect Richard Roundtree gets a hug from Randi Ebron-Frails, 5, the daughter of his campaign adviser, Randolph Frails, at the Legends Club.

Roundtree defeated his Republican opponent, Freddie Sanders, 49,389 to 28,395, garnering more than 63 percent of votes cast.

Roundtree said the win was more than a political victory – it was a mandate from the people that it was time for change.

“As I accept the fact that I am the sheriff-elect of Richmond County, I offer this office back to all of you, because this office is the office of the people,” he said to the jubilant crowd of supporters gathered at the Legends Club on Washington Road. “I’m going to need your prayers and support because I cannot, I shall not and I will not be able to do this by myself. I will need the help of all of you.”

Sanders conceded the race and thanked his family and friends and called on them to support Roundtree. Sanders then traveled from his headquarters in south Augusta to congratulate the sheriff-elect.

“When the race is over, my sword is going to be sheathed,” he said. “I’ll do anything in the world to help him be the next sheriff.”

Sanders said he had hoped for a different result but had no hard feelings against his opponent and wished Roundtree well. He said he would return to working at his law practice.

“This is a good thing that happened here,” Sanders said. “He ran a good race.”

Roundtree said the victory was the result of a plan that began to form more than six years ago when he was a sergeant investigating violent crimes with the sheriff’s office. That’s when he said he saw the correlation between education and the rate of violent crime in Augusta.

“We have been confident for the last few weeks,” he said. “That is because of the work we put in. We didn’t take a day off.”

Roundtree said he will have to move quickly to put together a transition team. He will have to report to a four-week sheriff training course in Forsyth, Ga., on Sunday night. He said he will have only 21 days in Augusta before he has to take office.

As sheriff, he hopes to work with youth programs to keep young men out of trouble and to help young offenders get back on the straight and narrow.

It was a message he talked about throughout his campaign, and it resonated with some voters, such as Arthur Crenshaw.

Crenshaw said he voted for Roundtree because he thinks the sheriff’s office needs change and young people need a role model.

“We need someone who knows what goes on in these neighborhoods, who can identify with parts of the county with high crime rates,” Crenshaw said.

Roundtree, a native of Augusta and a graduate of T.W. Josey High School, said he was able to avoid many of the pitfalls facing black youths when he got a football scholarship to South Carolina State University, where he studied electromechanical engineering.

As a sophomore, he had “an epiphany” – he wanted to be a crime fighter. Roundtree joined the Augusta Police Department in 1993 after working as a part-time security guard at Regency Mall and became a sheriff’s deputy after city-county consolidation in 1996. He worked his way from road patrol to property crimes investigations and then violent crimes. While working as a homicide investigator, he earned a master of education degree from Troy University and attended the FBI Academy in 2009. But he was demoted after an episode in which investigative files were discovered in a former residence.

Not long after, Roundtree was hired by the Richmond County Board of Education as a lieutenant in charge of operations for the schools’ Public Safety Department.

After realizing the win Tuesday night, an emotional Roundtree acknowledged it was a historic moment in Richmond County.

“Everyone in this room everyone within the sound of my voice can say, ‘I was there when things changed in Augusta,’  ” he said.

Comments (58) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/06/12 - 11:03 pm
11
4
Richmond County's loss,

Richmond County's loss, Freddie. Now, go enjoy your life.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/06/12 - 11:10 pm
13
6
Looking at the numbers as of 9:55pm

Augusta has voted and 2/3's of Augusta was not concerned with the numerous documented ethical, professional and moral issues in Mr. Roundtree's past.

The Mob just wanted Historic Change that they could equate with and they now have it.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 11/06/12 - 11:16 pm
11
6
I wonder if Austin Rhodes is

I wonder if Austin Rhodes is crying already.

TCB22
632
Points
TCB22 11/06/12 - 11:19 pm
9
1
Augusta politicians use the

Augusta politicians use the phrase "move forward" every time they make a comment. Just words.

tealilly
34
Points
tealilly 11/06/12 - 11:22 pm
5
15
Don't Hate

To all those who had doubts that Richard Roundtree wouldn't win, hey guess who is your new sheriff is RICHARD ROUNDTREE! Freddie wasn't ready!! Way to go Roundtree!!!

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/06/12 - 11:27 pm
11
7
As it turns out...

Good sense isn't so common after all.

soitgoes
786
Points
soitgoes 11/06/12 - 11:44 pm
17
7
All that matters in Augusta is race

Roundtree is categorically unqualified and unfit to be employed by the Sheriff's office, let alone be the Sheriff. Unbelievable. But that is what the majority-minority electorate want... The property values just went DOWN in Richmond County, and UP in North Augusta. My house will be on the market by spring...

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 11/06/12 - 11:52 pm
5
11
Can you dig it?
Unpublished

I can dig it....SHAFT!

sassylassie
455
Points
sassylassie 11/07/12 - 12:36 am
16
5
It is amazing to me that

It is amazing to me that people will actually vote someone into office who has a faulty background with documented offenses, especially into such an important seat in the community. This individual is not qualified for this position but the uneducated have, again, voted for the WRONG person for all the WRONG reasons. That is why Richmond County is becoming, very quickly, a poor place to live, raise a family, or work. And we can certainly expect that a number of criminals will be released back into the streets as our new sheriff has determined that so many deserve a "second chance." It's time to move far, far away from this unbelievable, downward heading city. Lord help us.

augustarookie
300
Points
augustarookie 11/07/12 - 01:35 am
12
2
Role Model?

You have got to be kidding

scoobynews
3854
Points
scoobynews 11/07/12 - 02:11 am
11
6
LOL

This is what makes one greatful NOT to live in Richmond County. Just as with our newly elected president people don't vote on qualificatios they vote on race. Can't wait until we have two black candidates in the future talk about a "duh" moment! No one will know who to vote for.

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 11/07/12 - 03:10 am
5
16
Congratulations to our new

The people mentioning race said nothing when Scott Peebles won the first time around before the run off. Congratulations to our new sheriff, and thanks to Freddie for running a good campaign. Some people want us to think the sky is falling, but Augusta was just named the 4th best city to live in..

http://www.top10stop.com/lifestyle/top-10-best-american-cities-to-live-in

The property values in North Augusta won't be surpassing West Augusta, Forest Hills, Summerville, etc anytime soon. The property values would have to separate itself from the CBD and Southwest Augusta first. I like North Augusta(especially the Greenway), but no area of West Augusta has the amount of hood located along Bradleyville rd in North Augusta. The only area outside of Richmond County who might attract Whole Foods or Trader Joes is Evans. The other store will definitely come to West Augusta(or the CBD; depends on the speed of the GGHF construction), and Aiken will have to wait for the second metro location.

The metro area is much smaller compared to larger cities(i.e Atlanta), and the money is easily found within Aiken, Martinez, West Augusta, CBD, Forest Hills, Summerville, and Evans. I would put North Augusta in the next tier with Midtown & Southwest Augusta. Then places like Grovetown, South Augusta, Graniteville, Harlem, Thomson, and Hephzibah come next.

rebellious
20780
Points
rebellious 11/07/12 - 03:57 am
13
5
I am

almost speechless. On a local and National level. Americans and Augustans have rejected what I was raised to believe was discernment and rational thought bourne from a moral and ethical compass. I refuse to forsake these core values and instead choose to dissect this paradigm shift towards idealism over analysis and logic. My momma used to say "If everyone jumps off a bridge, are you going to do it".
It rang true then, and rings true now. The light which shines to illuminte right and wrong is flickering.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 11/07/12 - 04:01 am
9
1
the people of Richmond County

the people of Richmond County have spoken and all the ragin' from the old, wise, good, wild, and grave men won't change it.

seabeau
33
Points
seabeau 11/07/12 - 05:52 am
11
5
New Sheriff in town.

Augusta has just cut its own throat! This election result is sure to continue white flight(Taxes) from the city and Augusta will become another failed Democratic cotrolled city!

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 11/07/12 - 07:02 am
8
1
New Sheriff

Well, now we get to celebrate the first black sheriff.

And we also get to see how his Love and Second Chance for the people of Richmond County is going to work.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/07/12 - 07:31 am
10
2
My Closing Sheriff Race Comment

Everyone knows I did not and still do not support Mr. Roundtree as Sheriff .

It has never been about race or color. Those that know me 1 on 1 would laugh at any one implying so, given wide diversity on my family.

No,
My problem has been and continues to be Mr. Roundtree just does not meet the high standards of the office, to which he has now been elected. My opinion is based solely on his numerous well documented career and personal level mistakes.

A frequent reply was "Give him a 2nd Chance to redeem himself", and my response has been and still is, he has had numerous 2nd chances. An despite those 2nd chances he has had numerous repeated lapses in his morals, character and professional and ethic judgement. Given the well documented accounts, he is on his 6th or 7th 2nd chance

These are issues that no LEO or sheriff should have in his background, whether he be white, black, mixed race, straight, Bi or gay.

What we saw last night, by 2/3's of Augusta voters, was a vote mainly down racial lines. A vote with no concern as to the person that will make the life or death judgement calls that protects the thing most dear to us, our families.

It is easy to predict that over the next 4 years Mr. Roundtree biggest hurdle will be himself. Will he fall back into a rut of his old poor judgement calls and habits, or will he work out a way to be Sheriff without slipping into a poor judgement pattern all too often seen in his past?

At this point we can only hope he'll surprise many of us, but only time will tell.

For the Sake of our families, I pray Mr. Roundtree is successful on a professional level while he is in office.

Ruckus
467
Points
Ruckus 11/07/12 - 07:18 am
5
5
Its time for change

Next First 48 will start filming its show in Augusta and we'll definitely be on the map. For those of you that never saw the show (A&E station) here is the link www.aetv.com/the-first-48/

jp1979
35
Points
jp1979 11/07/12 - 08:07 am
5
13
Racism Is A live In the South

Everyone knew where this was going if Sheriff Roundtree won. It didn't work in the Presidential campaign. Womens rights, Gay marriage just to name a few. The country is changing as well as Richmond county. Some on this comment board said they will put their house for sale. Where are you going to move to with the influx of immigrants coming to America? Born in a big city in the North and living in Florida I like the diversity. I guess racism will always prevail. Think about this, Sheriff Roundtree may run for Mayor of Augusta in four years. What will the racist people of Richmond County do then?

soitgoes
786
Points
soitgoes 11/07/12 - 08:12 am
13
7
There is no way to say

THere is no way for any Roundtree voter to truthfully say their vote was cast for any reason but the color of the man's skin. The man has repeatedly demonstrated that he cannot satisfactorily perform a law enforcement job. Now, how is he going to hold his subordinates accountable when some demonstrate the same shortcomings? He can't, which means that the Sheriff's office will tolerate poor performance and mistakes. The Sheriff's office is going to become a "community center". Unbelievable, but so it goes.

scoobynews
3854
Points
scoobynews 11/07/12 - 08:13 am
8
4
Racism works both ways folks!

Racism works both ways folks! The vote between Scott Peebles and him proved that.

soitgoes
786
Points
soitgoes 11/07/12 - 08:30 am
7
8
Wrong Scooby

Peebles supporters supported him because he was (and still is) the best qualified candidate. Period. Roundtree supporters cannot point to one valid reason to support Roundtree other than the color of his skin. Qualifications? No. Performance? No. Judgement? No. Truthfulness? No. But to the majority-minority in RC, only thang that matters is whether yo' is a brother.

jp1979
35
Points
jp1979 11/07/12 - 08:53 am
6
8
Racism works both ways folks! (Response)

Have you experienced racial profiling? Have you ever experienced being stopped by law enforcement because you drive a nice car or followed because you live in a nice neighborhood? One night my brother and I were coming home fro a social event and the cop stopped us for no reason. Once the cop found identified my brother the cop literally ran. I asked my brother why the cop ran my brother tome me the cop found out who he is. I laughed and my brother let the cop go. My brother always get profiled and the cops usually beg him to let them go. You wonder why blacks are racist? Trust me Peebles a dem backed by republican money? You know the community gossip I know the real, I'll keep it to myself.

Riverman1
83881
Points
Riverman1 11/07/12 - 09:13 am
7
1
The big question now

The big question now is what happens with those trying to become influential with Roundtree. There has been an element from the first primary that has been constantly trying to position themselves to wield influence in the RCSO no matter who won. Be careful, Mr. Roundtree.

I believe he is smart enough to have used them and will now ensure they don't usurp him. That's his challenge.

Little Lamb
45989
Points
Little Lamb 11/07/12 - 09:18 am
6
0
Comparison

Countyman wrote:

The metro area is much smaller compared to larger cities.

Isn't that always true?

scoobynews
3854
Points
scoobynews 11/07/12 - 09:19 am
5
4
Soitgoes!

That was my point Scott Peebles was the best choice but was not chosen because of color plain and simple.

Little Lamb
45989
Points
Little Lamb 11/07/12 - 09:21 am
6
2
Mayor

jp1979 posted:

Think about this, Sheriff Roundtree may run for Mayor of Augusta in four years.

He cannot cause as much harm as mayor as he can as sheriff.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 11/07/12 - 09:23 am
1
0
Detroit City.
Unpublished

More wafer board on the doors an windows. Or bars. Buy some decorative welding stock. The mayors job is next on the list. Augusta should be a black culture controlled city at all levels. Except for the "money men" who are green and will continue to get richer as the concrete and asphalt flows. After all, if we can't get the money from property owners in ARC to maintain an entitlement community, we will get it through federal grants. Federal grants that come from property owners no matter what the local. Look out CC, your consolidation will be with ARC. The handlers already are consolidated.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 11/07/12 - 09:27 am
1
0
Run those haters out of town.
Unpublished

Let those with spirit and soul move forward. Build "one stop social service centers" on every corner. Or have them in a kiosk at all of the Circle K's, drug stores and liquor stores.

The next election, the polls will come to your house or where you stay.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 11/07/12 - 09:29 am
1
0
Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs