Two of the three candidates for Dorchester County Sheriff took part in a candidates forum this morning in Summerville. The Summerville Republican Women’s Club hosted the event at Oscar’s restaurant.
Former Dorchester County Lt. Robert Biddle addressed the audience, saying he decided to leave the sheriff’s office under Sheriff Knight because he did not agree with how it was being run. Biddle said pay raises were given to deputies, but not other employees like some civilians and those working at the county jail. He said he will work to have their pay increased. He said he will also ask county council to cut the sheriff salary in half.
Lt. Biddle said having 2 deputies handling the upper, more rural areas of Dorchester County is not enough. He said that is dangerous. He wants more deputies in that area.
Former Sheriff Ray Nash also spoke the those gathered. He said he would not be running at all if he felt like things were running well. He also pointed out that he is glad Biddle is in the race. Nash said that shows that the problems he has heard about within the department are legitimate.
Nash cited an increase in homicides in the county as one big reason he is running. He said when he was sheriff, there was 3 homicides per year on average. Nash said there were 19 last year. Nash also wants more deputies in northern Dorchester County. He said when he was sheriff he had 4 in the upper areas instead of the current 2.
Lt. Biddle also asked the question, “Why did it take 7 years to get accreditation when Sheriff Knight said it would happen in his first term?”
Sheriff Knight did not attend the forum. Organizers say the sheriff has told them he will make it to a future meeting before the election. News 2 also called to try and get in touch with Sheriff Knight, and offer to do an on-camera interview about the race.
The primary election takes place June 14th. All three candidates in this election are running in the Republican primary.