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.

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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.

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soapy_725
45618
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soapy_725 11/07/12 - 09:30 am
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0
Free at last, free at last.
Unpublished

There is a new civics curriculum in ARC.

soapy_725
45618
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soapy_725 11/07/12 - 09:33 am
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Sadly, no matter how the future of ARC
Unpublished

will be painted, the black crayon was the victory. Nothing else matters. The crime, the slums, the poverty or the economic slavery. Anything negative will be taken care of with Obama Money.

razordog
195
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razordog 11/07/12 - 09:34 am
9
5
RC Goofed

Richmond County goofed up big time on this one! Who cares about qualifications as long as criminals get a second chance and everyone feels warm and fuzzy. I wonder if a crime is committed against R'tree or someone in his family if he will give that criminal a second chance. Do you think that the average citizen who blows the criminal away for breaking into their house will get a second chance?

soapy_725
45618
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soapy_725 11/07/12 - 09:36 am
1
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13 percent of the nation decided. NOT
Unpublished

Black leadership will bring a utopian society. NOT. We war not against man made politics, but against evil spiritual power in high places.

tgentry
308
Points
tgentry 11/07/12 - 09:40 am
5
2
It is interesting

I find Augusta is now going through the growing pains of Atlanta. I lived in Atlanta most of my teen years. I remember when Dekalb County got its first black Sheriff. Sidney Dorsey back in 1996. Sheriff Dorsey had a lot of conflicts in his office. He was defeated in a 2000 runoff by challenger Derwin Brown, whom he had murdered shortly thereafter.

Mr. Roundtree I hope will not follow the same outcome of Mr. Dorsey. I hope he will truly try his best to run a open and fair Sheriff's office. Today Dekalb County Sheriff Brown is still in office. He was sworn in as Sheriff in 2001. Sheriff Brown also a Black man, has done a Great job in Dekalb County. Sheriff Roundtree I hope will do the same in Richmond County. This is just my 2 cents. I see a lot of people here saying Race card. Give it a rest. It is not a race game until you who mention it makes it one.

soapy_725
45618
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soapy_725 11/07/12 - 09:40 am
1
0
Why did we boycott S. Africa because they had
Unpublished

minority rule? Lead the worldwide boycott to establish majority rule in a sovereign country. But glorify minority rule in our own country? We sheeple accept this illogical thinking from our leaders.

We denounce the USSR for invading Afganyland. Thirty years later we are in Afganyland. The amusement park for high ranking generals.
We sheeple accept this illogical thinking from our leaders.

loblolly
469
Points
loblolly 11/07/12 - 09:58 am
4
8
If only
Unpublished

the posters on this blog had as much class as Freddie Sanders. No worries, classlessness is why the right-wing was trounced in this election, as well as on the national level.

Riverman1
120650
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Riverman1 11/07/12 - 10:02 am
6
2
Tgentry, I agree with the

Tgentry, I agree with the main idea of your post. This is just the natural progression of Richmond County to a government that resembles Atlanta. From the last census, the racial percantages of the two areas are about the same.

The part about people voting along racial lines is nothing to berate. People all over this country, in every type district, usually vote along racial lines. There's nothing unusual or wrong about Richmond County doing the same thing. Anyone think Roundtree could be elected Sheriff in Columbia County?

Riverman1
120650
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Riverman1 11/07/12 - 10:06 am
7
1
Loblolly, I've long said

Loblolly, I've long said Sanders and Roundtree have a respect for each other and could work well together. Roundtree should include Sanders in those he can trust to help make Richmond Cty safer. Of course some of the individuals in the mix, don't want the straight shooting Sanders around.

allhans
25543
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allhans 11/07/12 - 10:09 am
3
1
Our chance to correct this

Our chance to correct this was in the Democrat primary. It was a given that the winner would be our next sheriff. It was discussed but then dismissed at the time.

seenitB4
128544
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seenitB4 11/07/12 - 10:16 am
5
5
allhans

If SP was the man for Sheriff...HE would be Sheriff right now.....you can't blame everything & everybody else for his loss...
The crossover didn't work in sooo many ways....amen

Fiat_Lux
19974
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Fiat_Lux 11/07/12 - 10:17 am
7
4
Time to go buy more guns and ammo

because law enforcement Roundtree-style is going to mean a lot more DIY protection.

God help our deputies with this clueless bleeding-heart at the helm.

allhans
25543
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allhans 11/07/12 - 08:51 pm
4
1
I live in Richmond County so

I live in Richmond County so I assume that means I need some DIY protection. I never thought that time would come.

Just kidding. It could become an issue, but not yet.

Riverman1
120650
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Riverman1 11/07/12 - 10:28 am
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3
Who Will Run for Mayor?

I wonder who is going to run for mayor?

justthefacts
34864
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justthefacts 11/07/12 - 10:37 am
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1
TGentry

"Sheriff Brown also a Black man, has done a Great job in Dekalb County. Sheriff Roundtree I hope will do the same in Richmond County."
Some goal, ha.The violent crime rate in Dekalb county is twice the national average. Granted the demographics are more to blame but still....

Augusta resident
1370
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Augusta resident 11/07/12 - 11:39 am
5
1
I hope he doesn't hold

I hope he doesn't hold anything like this against his staff. Can staff have sex with inmates at the jail now?

GiantsAllDay
14691
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GiantsAllDay 11/07/12 - 11:40 am
5
5
Good luck Mr. Sheriff Roundtree

What did you expect? Welcome sonny? Marry my daughter? These are simple folk; people of the land. You know, morons! (apologies to Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder)

tgentry
308
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tgentry 11/07/12 - 11:43 am
3
1
@Justthefacts

My choosing Dekalb County's Sheriff's Department may be a little off. Dekalb County has its own Police Department that handles the crime for Dekalb County. In his current position, Sheriff Brown is responsible for the operation of the jail, security of the county's courts and the serving of all criminal and civil warrants. The Sheriff's Office also operates DeKalb County's major Fugitive Squad.

The point I was making is Sheriff Thomas Brown has turned that agency around. He has gotten the department accredited through CALEA, NCCHC, and is working toward ACA. Sheriff Brown had no Law Enforcement experiencing. He was originally a Fire Fighter. I just hope that Sheriff Roundtree who has LE experience can make his department function as well.

justthefacts
34864
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justthefacts 11/07/12 - 11:59 am
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TGentry

OK. I am sure everyone would agree with your hopes.

7N06
9
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7N06 11/07/12 - 11:59 am
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Now that Sheriff Elect

Now that Sheriff Elect Roundtree has won, I wish Augustans can stop all of this petty bickering with racial under tones and stand as a united front behind the Sheriff and give out support for reducing crime in Augusta Richmond County. Roundtree was not my 1st choice, but he is now my Sheriff. He ran a good race, now let us support him.

useful
827
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useful 11/07/12 - 12:34 pm
3
5
Hats to Mr. Roundtree . I

Hats to Mr. Roundtree . I hope you know that the people who voted for you will want the flavor returned when the are about to be arrested.

countyman
23565
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countyman 11/07/12 - 02:08 pm
4
2
I love the number of thumbs

I love the number of thumbs down related to my previous comments. None of those people responded to my comment, because it's the simple truth.

The results of the election won't change the facts.. The only people mentioning race are sore losers, or people with their own racial problems.

The mayor of Richmond County is white, and nobody said anything related to ethnicity. Race wasn't the issue when Scott Pebbles won before the run off.

The comment about how the election will continue the white flight of taxes out of the city is hilarious. The 2011 census estimate has the white population growing the fastest in the county. Costco decided to open their only store in GA not located in metro Atlanta right here in West Augusta. Starbucks wouldn't invest $172 million into a new facility(purchased 100 acres in order to expand in the future), and give $200k to the mayor's technology center if Augusta didn't have the positive momentum.

kiwiinamerica
1115
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kiwiinamerica 11/07/12 - 02:16 pm
0
0
I'm always amused by smug
Unpublished

I'm always amused by smug "the people have spoken" comments, as if "the people" are somehow the final arbiter of common sense, morality, wisdom and good taste.

Watching America "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" in the immortal words of Robert Bork, is not easy. However, there could be some poetic justice on the horizon. America may finally fall off the financial precipice during this 4 year cycle and we all know what will happen in urban America when gubmint checks are no longer "in the mail". Having to deal with the ensuing chaos would be a fitting reward for Roundtree.

Fiat_Lux
19974
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/07/12 - 03:19 pm
5
5
JP1979, grab a clue

People are NOT racist just because they can see character flaws and an absence of professional qualifications in a candidate. Nobody I know cares what color or race Roundtree is. The problem is that he is not qualified and his character is so lacking that he SHOULD NOT have this kind of authority within his grasp.

He simply isn't up to handling the responsibilities that go with the exercise of this office's authority. He might not even be able to help himself not to abuse his new authority. And then, he could end up in real trouble indeed.

I hope that doesn't happen, but it doesn't look promising.

Fiat_Lux
19974
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/07/12 - 03:16 pm
4
4
You're wrong (yet again), countyman

Clearly, you aren't reading all the comments, because anyone lamenting these election results is being handily denounced by numerous others in celebration mode as nothing more than racists.

As for your previous post, let the raters come live here for a year or so and revisit that 4th best place to live rating thingy. They can even live in West Augusta where the crime rate still is relatively low.

As for where the money is located, you are correct, but over the coming four years, expect a debilitating portion of that money to be forcibly relocated to the residents of the CBD, and of East and South Augusta. The decline in Richmond County schools, performance and behavior, will continue unabated.

willie7
1077
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willie7 11/07/12 - 03:35 pm
6
0
Congratulations Richard
Unpublished

Congratulations Richard Roundtree, you ran a clean and decent campaign. You worked hard for this position.
I wish you well and have high expectations of your performance as sheriff of Richmond County. I also salute Freddie Sanders, coming to your victory party, and wishing you the best.

Cynical old woman
1113
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Cynical old woman 11/07/12 - 04:24 pm
4
5
Merit

I would never have gotten my job had I not been qualified. I was not given my job asked on my sex nor color of skin. The new sheriff in town cannot say the same thing.

jbenny2010
276
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jbenny2010 11/07/12 - 07:58 pm
0
1
Wow. . . .

I consider myself an informed conscientious voter. I voted for Reagan as a first time voter and continued to vote Republican up until the past 15 years. I became disillusioned with the Republicans and I now consider myself to be independent and vote according to the issues and not along party lines. With that said, I initially did not plan to vote for Roundtree because I listened to local talk radio and read the local paper. However, there was one thing that he said that caught my attention and caused me to do some research on it; that was the statement regarding the correlation between lack of education and participation in crime. Then I thought about all the years that the "machine" put people in place to accomplish their goals~ the sheriff's race is one of those offices. And I finally got fed up; fed up with having no representation in certain offices even though the demographics of the county are changing; fed up with others telling me that I didn't understand the issues; fed up with the "good ole boy" system that has this county in the shape that it is in today. . . so I had a Rosa Parks moment. . . I got tired and decided to do something different. I voted for Richard Roundtree, Kellie McIntyre, and Harry James. I felt they were qualified and should be given a chance. However, I did NOT vote for Marion Williams or Evita Paschal because I did NOT believe they were qualified. I also did not vote for Pres. Obama nor Romney; I voted for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. So please do not paint the black community as if we are a monolith-- some of us actually go against the tide of popularity and think!

itsanotherday1
58377
Points
itsanotherday1 11/07/12 - 09:09 pm
2
1
I wish for much success for

I wish for much success for Mr. Roundtree even though I believe the lesser qualified man won. For if he is not successful, everyone suffers.

On the flip side, I wish total failure for Barack Obama and the Democrats in their efforts to socialize America and destroy capitalism and free markets. That hurts us all as well.

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