Duane Lewis Wins Berkeley County Sheriff Election
It was a bit closer than expected, but Duane Lewis is the new Berkeley County Sheriff.
Lewis captured 47% of the votes cast with write-ins garnering 33% and Democrat Anthony Smalls finishing third with 20% of the vote.
While this election was a wild one, maybe demonstrating why the top law enforcement in a county shouldn’t be decided by election, Lewis will now have the opportunity to settle into his new job with Republican and write-in challenger Brian Adams far in his rear view mirror.
By Paul Gable
Finally an end to the special election campaign for Berkeley County Sheriff.
By the time the ballots are finished being counted tonight, Republican candidate Duane Lewis should be the new sheriff for Berkeley County.
The campaign has been somewhat of a wild ride for Lewis.
Lewis (13%) was the second place finisher to candidate Brian Adams (24%) in the first round of primary balloting.
Then the fun began.
Lewis garnered the endorsements of nine of the 11 Republican candidates who were eliminated in the first round of the primary. He went on to defeat Adams by 52% – 48% in the primary runoff gaining the Republican nomination.
Adams initially endorsed Lewis for the general election, but pulled that endorsement when his supporters decided to mount a write-in candidacy in the general election.
Adams’ supporters have tried to further muddy the waters by challenging statements by Lewis on his campaign filing documents even going to the SC Attorney General’s office claiming possible corruption by Lewis.
Berkeley County Republican Party chairman Tim Callanan characterized Adams’ supporters as “sore losers” with “zero regard for the truth.”
It can be said that Adams snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. He garnered 35% of the vote in a primary challenge to former Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne Dewitt. After Dewitt was forced to resign for events surrounding a DUI, Adams, no doubt, thought the special election was his to lose.
And lose it he did because Lewis ran a better special election campaign.
Today Lewis must beat off the challenge of Democratic candidate Anthony Smalls, Adams and two other write-in campaigns.
It shouldn’t be a problem.