Originally created 07/25/02

Sheriff bypassed for U.S. marshal

AIKEN - Sheriff Howard Sellers will remain in Aiken County.

For months, he had been in contention to be the president's choice for U.S. marshal of South Carolina.

The presidential nod has gone to former Greenville County Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown, according to an announcement Wednesday from U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond's office.

"We have known this for some time, but I was requested to keep this confidential," Sheriff Sellers said. "I think Johnny Mack Brown has a tremendous resume and will bring some tremendous talent to the office."

The position requires approval from the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and confirmation by the full Senate.

During the nomination process, Sheriff Sellers remained low-key. He maintained that being nominated is an honor and that his sights are on re-election for a fourth term in 2004.

He reaffirmed those thoughts Wednesday, saying he has no reservations about not getting the job in Columbia, which involves supervising 120 employees, including 35 marshals.

Mr. Brown was sheriff from 1977 to 2001, serving in the position longer than any other in Greenville County. He served before that as director of the Municipal Offender Program in his area.

Mr. Thurmond's office submitted four names to President Bush. The other two candidates were York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant and State Law Enforcement Division Maj. Mark Huguley.

In a prepared statement, Mr. Thurmond called Mr. Brown "a man of character" with "an outstanding work ethic."

"Mr. Brown will be one of the finest U.S. marshals that has ever served this great state," the senator said.

Reach Eric Williamson at (803) 279-6895 or eric.williamson@augustachronicle.com.


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