Lt. Robbie Silas called 'family values candidate,' snags former Sheriff Webster's support

Lt. Robbie Silas
Lt. Robbie Silas announced he's running for sheriff of Richmond County Friday afternoon. (WRDW-TV / March 16, 2012)
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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, March 16, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- He is being called the family values candidate. Lt. Robbie Silas officially announced his plans to run for sheriff of Richmond County Friday afternoon.

"I will definitely work hard to be one of the best sheriffs the county has ever had," said Silas, who was surrounded by a who's who crowd of supporters.

We asked former Sheriff Charles Webster who his candidate of choice is.

"Robbie Silas," Webster replied. "I'm going to vote for him, and let me tell you something, I think he will make Richmond County a good sheriff."

Former Sen. J.B. Powell also supports the 15-year law enforcement veteran.

"I think he is the family values candidate," Powell said. "I think he is the man who understands that we all have to be tough on crime, but we have to make an initiative to try to keep our young people on the right track."

"Knowing the streets is knowing the community, and know the community is know the job," Silas said.

It is his time on the streets that prepared him for this moment, said his biggest supporter, his sister, and wife of the current sheriff, Patti Strength.

"This is something Robbie has been preparing for a long time," she said. "He didn't wake up yesterday morning and say, 'I want to be sheriff.'"

Silas enters the race alongside three other candidates who have all worked in the Sheriff's Office.

"Has this divided the family?" we asked Patti.

"No," she said. "That's a lot of rumor."

But Sheriff Ronnie Strength has decided to wait to endorse a candidate until after the July primary.

"I think he took the right step in sitting back on it like that because I don't think it would be fair to any one of them," Patti said.

Meanwhile, Silas is pushing his message.

"We are going to be tough on crime. We want to protect our citizens," he said. "We'd like to get back to possibly a traffic division to reduce those fatalities."

He already has one sheriff on his team.

"May the best man win," Webster said. "We think we may have a winner here."

Silas is a father of two and has been married for 23 years.