Originally created 12/01/99

Strength appoints manager

Although he can't publicly campaign for the 2000 sheriff's race because he is a county employee, Richmond County Chief Deputy Ronald Strength now has someone else to organize support for him.

Chief Deputy Strength named David Fields as his campaign manager in a Nov. 22 amendment to a declaration of intent he filed with the local board of elections in September.

Mr. Fields, vice president of Augusta Limousine, previously managed the successful 1998 campaign of Richmond County Superior Court Judge Duncan Wheale.

"With him just going through recently a campaign with a Superior Court judge, he's very familiar with the ins and outs of a campaign," Chief Deputy Strength said.

Mr. Fields said to expect more campaign activity from his camp in the coming months as he gets organized.

"He just called me and asked me if I would (be his campaign manager), and I told him I would be honored," Mr. Fields said.

A campaign steering committee, composed of about seven to 10 members, will be formed after the first of next year, Chief Deputy Strength said.

The chief deputy said he plans to step down from his position as head of the criminal investigative division in April when he officially qualifies for the November 2000 election.

Chief Deputy Strength announced he was running for sheriff after Sheriff Charles Webster said in October he would not seek another term. Before that announcement, Chief Deputy Strength said he would not run against Sheriff Webster if he sought another term in 2000.

Sheriff Webster and Chief Deputy Sid Hatfield, once rumored as a candidate for sheriff, have endorsed Chief Deputy Strength.

Chief Deputy Strength's 14-year career in Richmond County law enforcement will be one of the main themes Mr. Fields plans to push in what he said would be a clean campaign.

"I think Ronnie is the best guy for the job and the most qualified," Mr. Fields said. "We're going to try to keep it a clean campaign and run it the best we can. We're going to run like we're behind the whole race."

Reach Mark Mathis at (706) 823-3227 or marmathis@yahoo.com.


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