The Inside Story: Republican challenger readies for 'war' against Democratic sheriff candidates

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Democratic candidates Scott Peebles and Richard Roundtree are heading for a runoff in the race for Richmond County sheriff.

The Republican challenger is already declaring war.

"Whoever ends up winning the runoff," said Republican nominee Freddie Sanders, "we're at war with them. If it's Mr. Roundtree, then we're going to war."

The former police chief and well-known attorney is not shying away from Peebles, either.

"Can he take you on? Is he qualified?" we asked Sanders with Peebles sitting next to him on our weekly radio segment on 96.3 Kiss FM with Fattz and Cher. "Sadly. Absolutely he is qualified."

But the candidates are sniping over Peebles' 47 percent to Roundtree's 39 percent turnout.

"They needed Republicans to come over to the Democratic Party to help win this election," said Democratic challenger Roundtree. "We are encouraging true Democrats to come out in this election."

"I want to be a sheriff for all people," Peebles said. "It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat or Republican."

Sanders sides with Roundtree.

"There was a lot of crossover, and I really didn't think that was right." Sanders said. "I think the Republicans should have voted in the Republican race and stayed with their party."

The candidates also have their differences -- you don't have to look further than the websites. Roundtree has his covenant with the community, and Peebles highlights his focus on the issues. Each candidate calls for a citizens advisory board.

"I don't need a citizens advisory board," Sanders said. Everybody is going to be on my board."

Peebles says there is a need for the board's input.

"I can make a decision. I don't need people to make a decision for me," Peebles said. "But I want there to be another layer of transparency in the Richmond County Sheriff's office."

That runoff is Tuesday, Aug. 21.