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Rick Clark Wins Pickens County Sheriff's Race

Rick Clark will be Pickens County Sheriff's Office's first new sheriff in over 40 years.

Clark captured 23,433 votes, or 54.7 percent, bringing his long quest to become County Sheriff to an end.

Clark thanked the voters for “a tremendous night” and “a great victory.”

He said his win was due to a number of factors.

“First of all, citizens who support law enforcements and all public service workers and who said it was time for a change for the future,” Clark said. “And that we still have a county that prays for elections. They prayed for their law enforcement and emergency services throughout the county tonight.”

Clark said his priority going into his first term would be “getting our deputies on the streets”

“Taking a broken window theory approach, going after small crime and using that as an avenue for the bigger things,” he said.  “We want to be reducing the crime rate in Pickens County and working on getting our Pickens County back.” 

Clark ran unsuccessfully against Sheriff C. David Stone in the past, before defeating Stone in the June 12 primary.

“I think it’s a historic night in Pickens County,” Clark said at the time. “I think it’s just tremendous.”

But he didn’t capture enough of the vote to avoid a runoff.

Two weeks later, Clark took a commanding lead in the runoff, one that never faltered, causing Sheriff Stone to concede the race less than two hours after the returns began coming in.

But Clark’s race wasn’t over yet.  He was set to face Independence Candidate Keith Culbreath in November before Morgan and Whitten launched successful campaigns to appear on the ballot as petition candidates.

Culbreath dropped out of the race, throwing his support behind Morgan.

Morgan earned 16,259 votes or 37.9 percent of the vote.

Whitten captured 7.08 percent of the vote, with 3,035 votes.  

During his campaign, Clark characterized the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office as behind the times regarding technology and pledged to adopt a “policy of intelligence-led policing, a sharing of data and resources between area agencies, to fight crime. 

Clark will give up his seat on Liberty City Council when he becomes sheriff. 

"We've done a lot of great things there as a team from water and sewer and fire department additions," Clark said. "It's been a great growing period for me too. The citizens of Liberty really came out for me tonight and I have great gratitude for them."

He sees the Sheriff's Office working closely with the Liberty Police Department. 

"It's going to fit in with our intelligence-led policing," Clark said. "All law enforcement in Pickens County are going to start working together, because our criminals are coming in and out of city limits. They're teaming up together, so we're going to team up together too, all law enforcement in Pickens County." 

The results of the other Easley and Pickens County races can be found here. 

Eric November 07, 2012 at 11:51 AM
security guard is Sheriff..... yeah, crime rates going to drop
Thomas Rogers November 07, 2012 at 11:57 AM
He worked very hard and won over the voters in 3 elections. The sheriff's department and their effort with Stone and then carting out Morgan and then suing Clark was to hold on to their authority, and keep those retired captains who are being paid salaries in their positions. The people saw through that and realized it was just about that and not about law enforcement.
Michael Bates November 07, 2012 at 06:49 PM
That my friend is political propaganda that you and many others fell for. People believe what "poloticians" say instead of investigating issues and questioning people involved. Believe it or not there are probobly other people employed at that office that are not old nor retired who are worried about the future leadership of a security guard who has no idea how to run an entire Sheriff's Department. Especially if he plans on ridding Pickens County of all the older (experienced) employees. Bring in a bunch of new administration and expect those second teir guys to respect them... yeah right!!! Respect and Trust are earned not just given!!!
Easley March 28, 2013 at 03:33 AM
The security guard seems to be doing pretty good from the feedback I get from Deputies and citizens. Drop the hate, it is not worth it.
Charles Eakins February 18, 2014 at 10:32 AM
Clearly he really meant small crime. Sheriff Clark going after vhs tap non-returners! Great use of tax payer money!

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