PICKENS COUNTY—For the first time in more than 40 years, the Pickens County Sheriff’s seat will be occupied by someone other than David Stone.
County voters chose Rick Clark as the Republican candidate for sheriff during Tuesday’s runoff, sending him to the deciding election against Independent Keith Culbreath in November.
“It was a tremendous night,” said Clark. “We had an overwhelming response from the citizens of Pickens County. It was fantastic. I’m just honored and humbled by the response. It was just an amazing night.”
According to unofficial results from the Pickens County Registration and Elections Commission, one hundred percent of precincts have reported, and Clark received more than 57 percent of the vote with 6,230 total votes.
In a fairly comfortable victory, Clark received a concession call from Stone, who received 4,590 total votes. Clark says he appreciates Stone’s many years of service.
“I want to thank Sheriff Stone for his service to the county,” said Clark. “People are ready for a change.”
Tuesday’s runoff was needed after neither candidate received a majority of the vote during the June, 12 primary. Clark defeated Stone in that race as well.
In a previous unsuccessful effort to obtain the sheriff’s seat, Clark says he was able to learn some things and change minds.
“We ran the last time and did very well,” said Clark. “We just went out there and presented our message and looked toward the future. People were concerned about our rising crime rates and saw that we could do better in the future.”
Clark says it is going to be a long road to the November general election, but he says he is ready to keep up this memorable campaign.
“We’ll keep doing what got us this far,” said Clark. “We just want to have face-to-face contact, shake some hands, and keep talking about the great staff that we’ve got at the sheriff’s office. That’s the key to our future.”
As for the possibility of taking over as Sheriff, Clark says he is itching for the opportunity.
“The first thing we’ll do is get together and build our plan for the sheriff’s office,” said Clark. “It’s critical that the staff and the sheriff’s office be able to plan their future along with the Sheriff. The future is bright going into the November election. Everything is looking great.”