Upstate Sheriff races lead to upsets and a runoff

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Sheriff’s races across the Upstate proved to be the most dramatic in Tuesday’s primary, leading to upsets and a run-off.

New people are taking over the top job in Laurens and Anderson counties, while Greenville County’s Sheriff heads into a runoff.

“To unseat an incumbent is not easy for anybody to do, but it’s time for change in Greenville County,” said Will Lewis, candidate for Sheriff.

Watching the Greenville County returns, Tuesday, Lewis watched the votes next to his name climb. By the end of the night, he was the 2nd place finisher under incumbent Sheriff, Steve Loftis.

Loftis missed the 51% needed to win outright with 42% percent of the vote. He and Lewis now head to a runoff.

“[I’m] very humbled to be in the position that we are in right now. Last night, 58 percent of the county said they wanted change in the sheriff’s office and that 58 percent were extremely vocal,” said Lewis, Wednesday.

He’s confident enough in that 58% to pull an upset, seen Tuesday night in neighboring counties, like Anderson and Laurens.

Anderson County voted in Chad McBride, unseating two term Sheriff John Skipper by 58 to 25 percent.

“Just talking to them, people were excited about change .So we’re going to give them that change,” said McBride.

Sheriff Skipper had to concede to what the people wanted.

“I think we’ve done a good job and we plan to continue to do a good job, but obviously the voters want something different,” Skipper said.

The voters wanted something different in Laurens County, too. Don Reynolds beat out four term Sheriff Ricky Chastain for the job.

Once in office, Reynolds wants to tackle crime and drugs.

“I have seen the dissatisfaction or the need, so to speak, to be more responsive to the people’s needs. When people want help, they want help,” said Reynolds.

Sheriff Chastain did not respond to calls Wednesday.

Reynolds said he was humbled by the chance to serve.

“I want to earn the people’s trust and I will work hard to do it,” he said.

7 News reached out to campaign staff for Greenville County Sheriff, Steve Loftis. They said he will hold a news conference Thursday morning to discuss the upcoming runoff.

The winners of all unchallenged sheriff’s races will take over this coming January. Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright will face independent challenger, Russell Lynch, in the November general election.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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