News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It was a hard-fought campaign on both sides, but Richmond County now has a Democratic sheriff candidate. The mayor pro tem has a message for the detractors as Lt. Richard Roundtree prepares for a three-day thank you campaign.
"Sometimes just sit and reflect on things," said Roundtree on our weekly radio segment on 96.3 KISS FM with Fattz and Cher. "Especially last night with my mom there. We have come a long way."
The visibly emotional candidate's rise has not come without a degree of drama.
"I think it is past time that you finally have a candidate that is representative of the people," said Augusta Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles.
The comments come after some took to Facebook declaring their intentions to move to Columbia County.
"The voters voted and people need to get over it and move on," Bowles said. "All this talk and trash about moving to Columbia County ... they need to shut up and suck it up. Augusta is a great city."
Bowles stopped just short of endorsing Roundtree.
"Ideally and theoretically, I think a Richard Roundtree candidacy is something the city might need," Bowles said. "For some of those people that are struggling in the younger generation it might be something that would be a positive impact on them."
Roundtree says he welcomes the challenge.
"Trying to be a role model to some of the kids," he said. "It becomes overwhelming and extremely humbling."
The nominee is now appealing to the community to keep an open mind.
"We just want people to give us an opportunity to show our platform." Roundtree said. "Give us a chance to show some of the things we are going to bring to Augusta and then make a decision."
Roundtree says his campaign entered the runoff with $300 in the bank. He says grassroots campaigning made all the difference.