|Augusta attorney Freddie Sanders|
By The Outsider
Prominent Augusta attorney Freddie Sanders says he is ready to be the next Sheriff of Augusta-Richmond County. He made it official today at 3pm behind The Marble Palace and plans to run on The Republican ticket. He is the first Republican to announce a run for Sheriff. Four Democrats have already announced. And Sanders already seems to be lining up some big name supporters. Standing right beside him today at his announcement was former Augusta Mayor and barbecue baron Larry Sconyers.
Sylvia Cooper of The Augusta Chronicle wasted no time trying to marginalize Sanders as a candidate in her Sunday City Ink Column saying that "Sanders has a slim shot at Sheriff." It was the second column in a row where Cooper poo-pooed Sanders' candidacy. The week before Cooper predicted that Sanders would not enter the race and said when Sanders gets involved with something it is soon abolished, citing his association with the now defunct Richmond County Coliseum Authority and The Richmond County Police Department, the latter of which Sanders served as police chief from 1983-1985. The Richmond County Police Department was a short-lived experiment after a string of corruption scandals that plagued the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.
Sanders admits that running as a Republican in heavily Democratic-leaning Richmond County will be an uphill challenge. He even described it on a local morning talk-radio show as being more difficult than a "camel passing through the eye of a needle." However, Sanders maintains that he is up to the challenge and believes he can win. He says that his unique combination of a law enforcement background and his experience as an attorney who knows the local court system inside and out will be a major asset in the Sheriff's office. Sanders also maintains that in the end voters are not so concerned about party affiliation when it comes to the county's top law enforcement office, and that people will appreciate and respect that he is staying true to his convictions and not running as something that he is not just for the purposes of political expediency.
Some people may be rethinking theories that Sanders is only running as an insurance policy in case Cpt. Scott Peebles fails to win the Democratic nomination. Sanders sounds like someone who is in it to win it and he maintains he will stay in the race regardless of who his Democratic opponent may be.
What Sanders' candidacy is showing, is that some of the most powerful political factions in Richmond County are fracturing. Sconyers' support of Sanders shows that The Southside may not be solidly behind Silas after all. The fact that The Augusta Chronicle is trying its best to shoot torpedoes at Sanders' candidacy early on shows that a schism has developed on The Hill and Westside. Despite what they may say via Sylvia Coopers' column, The Chronicle see Sanders as a threat.. and that's why they have started to attack him early and characterize his campaign as an exercise in futility. It's not a big secret that The Morris owned Chronicle is backing Peebles.. as is Mayor Copenhaver, Clay Boardman, and some other powerful names from the Augusta business community as evidenced from Peebles announcement event in front of the courthouse. Some political observers see that as an indication that Peebles is the chosen candidate of The Cabal.
But Sanders will get lots of support from The Hill and Westside, and with the help of Sconyers, he could make big inroads on The Southside as well. One thing we know for sure is that the powerful political machines are not coalescing behind one candidate of their own.. and what this shows is that these political machines have fractured... and this Sheriff's race could be the first big proof of that.***
Sanders Candidacy Viewed as an Insurance Policy