News 12 at 11 o'clock / Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Republican Freddie Sanders is still waiting to see who he will face come November. Meanwhile, some voters are still waiting to see who they will support.
"The bottom line is this: We're tied at zero right now. Nobody's got a single vote going into this thing," said Cpt. Scott Peebles.
That's why Peebles and Lt. Richard Roundtree braved the rain to meet up at Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday morning. Pastor Corey Brown led an open forum with the candidates -- one of the last before the Democratic runoff -- now only 10 days away.
"Now we've got the opportunity in the next 10 days to go out and actually influence what's going to happen to our children for the next 20 to 25 years," Roundtree said.
Each of the candidates spent the hour reminding voters why he is the best man for the job, but listeners noticed similarities in their campaign.
"Their platforms aren't too different. They want to do basically the same thing," said Augusta Commissioner Bill Lockett.
Peebles said his goal is all about transparency. He reminded voters there about his platform: community policing, a citizen's advisory board and getting national accreditation.
"Sheriff is a very very powerful position. Most argue that it's the most powerful position in county government. Shouldn't your Sheriff's Office be held to the highest international standard?" Peebles said.
You may remember Roundtree also wants community policing and a citizen's advisory board, but he also says he wants to start a gang task force.
"For so long we have denied the fact that we have a gang problem in this city. Everybody has said this is not L.A., this is not Chicago, this is not Detroit. Well, we don't want it to be," he said.
While many questions were answered, one still begged to be asked.
"Since Scott Peebles and Richard Roundtree have a wealth of knowledge, why don't they commit to each other that whoever wins on Aug. 21st will ultimately become the sheriff on Nov. 6th to put this other person in a key position in their administration so they can work together?" Lockett asked.
"If i win, I'll be working with him in law enforcement in some aspect, but it's also important that a sheriff has someone that he's got confidence in and that he knows that this person is going to support his vision and not undermine him," Peebles said.
"No matter how it goes out, if I go back to the school board, we work hand in hand. If I go back to the Sheriffs Office, ya know, he's a valuable part of the Sheriff's Office. I don't see that changing," Roundtree said.
The candidates said improving our community will be a team effort, and they expressed their mutual respect for each other.