UPDATE: Lt. Richard Roundtree responds to Peebles endorsement

News 12 at 6 o' clock / Friday, Aug. 31, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Another major endorsement in the race for Richmond County sheriff has been released.

Cpt. Scott Peebles now says he's backing Lt. Richard Roundtree, the man who beat him in the Democratic primary.

News 12 broke the news to Republican sheriff nominee, Freddie Sanders.

"One of the news channels called me and told me, in fact they're sitting pretty close to me right now," he said.

In response, Sanders says, "He begged people to cross over, Republicans to cross over and beat Roundtree, that was his whole campaign was to beat Roundtree."

But Peebles seems to have put all of that behind him rather quickly.

Lt. Richard Roundtree says, "We do appreciate the vote and the vote of confidence we hope that Peebles supporters will get behind our campaign and our vision and we can move forward together."

But Sanders thinks there may be something fishy here.

"I guess I knew that he might want to work out a deal with him, but I didn't know he was going to come out and publicly endorse him," he said.

But Roundtree says he didn't make any deals with Peebles for the endorsement: "No, of course not, we don't get into the deal making. We don't want to even entertain the fact about deals being made, when he left the Sheriff's Department, he was a part of the leadership team and he goes back in that same capacity."

Sanders says, "Maybe he thinks he's going to get something out of it, or maybe he thinks one of his close supporters are going to get something out of it, whatever, you'll have to ask them about it."

And we'd love to do just that, but Peebles won't make any further statements about his endorsement.

"He [Peebles] talked about him, dumped on him, did everything in the world he could to beat Roundtree, now the first thing he does is endorses him, so if he sleeps good at night, I'll sleep good at night," Sanders said.

Sanders says he doesn't think Peebles supporters are going to be happy with his choice. He says he doesn't think the endorsement will hurt his campaign at all.

Initial report:

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Democratic candidate for Richmond County sheriff Lt. Richard Roundtree says he is grateful for his latest endorsement and released this statement:
"I thank Scott Peebles for his endorsement. Although the campaign was tough, Scott and I have always worked well together. As your sheriff, he and I will continue our efforts to keep our city safe and engage in proactive law enforcement strategies.

His endorsement is a step towards healing this community and working towards a safer and better Augusta.

Once again, I sincerely thank Scott Peebles, I ask all my supporters to thank Scott and together we can move this community forward."

Cpt. Peebles released this statement announcing his endorsement for Lt. Richard Roundtree for sheriff:
"Over the past week I’ve been inundated with calls from supporters who have asked who I’m now supporting in the race for Richmond County sheriff. I encourage all people to do their own research and to vote for the candidate that most closely aligns with their own philosophies. I have done this myself and will cast my vote for Richard Roundtree.

By comparing our campaign platforms, it’s easy to see why I’ve chosen to support Richard Roundtree. Our fundamental ideas regarding the direction of law enforcement are nearly identical. From Community Oriented Policing to a Citizens Advisory Board, Richard and I have a very similar vision, and I look forward to seeing that vision realized."


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