After a bruising January 7, 2020 primary election, the two candidates with the highest number of votes will face off again in a runoff on January 21, 2020 to determine the Republican nominee for the next Greenville County Sheriff. A.T. ”Tommy” Smith and Hobart Lewis are on the ballot in this run-off and are both vying for the position of Sheriff of Greenville County. When the former Sheriff, Will Lewis, was indicted and found guilty, he was removed from office by the Governor. The clock began to tick and by state law an election needed to be held to elect a new sheriff, since it was more than one year until the next election. Also, on February 29, 2020, the Democratic Party Presidential Preference Primary will be held, but will not have any effect on the Greenville County Sheriff’s race taking place on February 21, 2020.
After the run-off election to determine the Republican party nominee for Sheriff, Greenville County voters will be asked to participate again on March 10, 2020, for the Special Election for Sheriff of Greenville County to fill the unexpired term of Will Lewis. This will be the Republican nominee against the only Democratic candidate, Paul Guy. Unfortunately after that, we run into more unusual circumstance for the newly elected Sheriff. The new sheriff will serve for only two months before the regular June 2020 primary election scheduled for June 9th, 2020, for federal, state and county candidates to earn the nomination for the November 2020 general election. If there is a runoff between two qualified candidates there will be a June 23, 2020, runoff election to decide the nomination. Then, the winner will be on the ballot once again for the November 3, 2020, general election that will include US Presidential candidates, federal offices, state offices as well as local partisan and nonpartisan offices.
In one of the first debates for the next Greenville County Sheriff, all Republican nominee seeking candidates, which there were five at the time, agreed that if they lost the election, they would not run again several months later for the normal election. If A.T. Smith and Hobart Lewis stick to this then the citizens of Greenville County should not have to worry, unless a new and unforeseen Republican candidate for Sheriff steps up run against the newly elected sheriff.
The two candidates in the run-off election for the Republican nominee as the next Greenville County Sheriff are A.T. “Tommy” Smith and Hobart Lewis.
A.T. “Tommy” Smith has been in law enforcement for over 40 years including time as a Greenville County Sheriff’s office dispatcher and deputy approximately 30 years ago. Smith received a little over 32% of the vote during the primary election compared to Hobart Lewis and his 37%. Smith’s career was highlighted by being appointed to the US Secret Service where he spent 30 years and rose to the rank of Deputy Director. After being away from Greenville County for approximately 30 years he returned to run for Sheriff.
Hobart Lewis refers to himself as a deputy’s deputy. He is a lifelong resident of Greenville County, other than the time he served in the US Military. He has over 15 years of law enforcement experience and is a successful local businessman. He served with the Greer Police Department for 10 years and was well received by voters in the Greer area. He also worked for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office from 2010 until 2016, before he resigned to run for Sheriff in the previous election. He narrowly missed making it to a run off with the previous long-time incumbent Sheriff (Steve Loftis) and Will Lewis by around 288 votes. The other three candidates in the recent Republican primary for Sheriff, Sean Zukowski, Robert Whatley and Darius Hall did not qualify for the runoff. Darius Hall came in third place overall. Robert Whatley came in fourth place overall and Sean Zukowski came in fifth place overall. Both Darious Hall and Robert Whatley, who are members of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Command Staff, have publicly endorsed Hobart Lewis as the next Sheriff. Beloved Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright has also gone public endorsing Hobart Lewis.
The winner of the March 10, 2020 special election will be sworn in as Sheriff of Greenville County and serve until the end of 2020. The person elected in the November 3, 2020 general election for the position of Greenville County Sheriff will take office in January 2021 and serve a four-year term.♦