Sanders calls endorsement controversy 'tempest in a teapot,' declares 'gangsters are not going to take over Augusta'

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 First at Five, Thursday, July 12, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Freddie Sanders wants to be the next sheriff of Richmond County. The Republican candidate joined me on my weekly radio segment for the Inside Story.

"Do you think that this race should be non-partisan?" we asked Sanders.

"Absolutely," said Sanders. "A sheriff should be non-partisan. You don't enforce the law according to whether you are a Democrat or Republican."

Sanders says people are more focused on things like the recent First Friday shooting that left six people injured.

"The person that shot those people needs to be in jail," said Sanders. "He is a punk thug. He needs to never see the light of day again."

Sheriff Ronnie Strength is threatening to shut down the event after the gang related shooting.

"I'm saying do not shut down First Friday," said Sanders. "It's the worst thing in the world to shut it down. People must like it. Gangsters are not going to take over. Thugs are not going to take over the city of Augusta."

The tough words come from a candidate who admits things have gotten hyper political. Several members of local law enforcement publicly endorsed a political candidate for sheriff on behalf of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives last week. They were slapped with a cease and desist letter along with a retraction demand.

"I felt like it was a tempest in teapot," said Sanders. "They thought they could do that. I guess an endorsement is an endorsement. If you are a politician you want an endorsement."

The Republican candidates are on the same page when it comes to First Friday.

"I don't think shutting it down is the answer," said Mike Godowns. "I don't think we should give in to the people that are causing the problem."

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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