Lee Boan won the Republican nomination for Kershaw County Sheriff on Tuesday and will go on to face Democratic contender Anthony Bell in November. The winner of the General Election will replace retiring Sheriff Jim Matthews.
Following official certification of the votes Thursday, Boan received 5,869 votes, or 63.75 percent of the total, versus fellow Republican Jack Rushing, who ended the night with 3,337 votes, or 36.25 percent.
Tuesday’s runoff became necessary after neither Boan nor Rushing garnered more than 50 percent of the vote in a June 12 primary. Two weeks ago, Boan led a four-man field with 38.44 percent of the vote. Rushing came in second with 31.29 percent. They were followed by Donald Branham and Eric Tisdale with 19.83 percent and 10.44 percent of the June 12 vote, respectively.
Even though there were some precincts left to count, around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, a Boan supporter posted video on Facebook of Boan stating he had received a call from Rushing conceding the race and pledging to support Boan “100 percent.” Boan said in the video that he felt any one of the original four Republican candidates would have been a good choice for the people of Kershaw County and that, if the tables had been turned, he would have supported Rushing 100 percent as well.
Boan, who announced his candidacy in August 2017, is currently the captain of operations and assistant police chief at the Camden Police Department (CPD). He began his career almost 25 years ago at the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), first as a deputy sheriff, then patrol deputy, shift corporal, narcotics investigator and bloodhound tracking team member.
Boan later went to work for the CPD, working as a drug detective, criminal detective, detective sergeant and patrol lieutenant. He left the CPD for several years to work as a special agent for the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). His duties there included investigating officer-involved shootings, murders, robberies, officer misconduct and other major incidents in the Midlands, including in Kershaw County.
Boan returned to the CPD in 2016 in his current capacity, which has him directly supervising both the patrol and investigative divisions. Also during his career, Boan has received the 1997 KCSO Deputy Sheriff of the Year, 1998 S.C. Sheriff’s Association Medal of Valor, 1998 National Sheriff’s Association Medal of Valor and the 2009 Officer of the Year awards. He also has more than 20 years of military experience through the S.C. Army National Guard, and is a graduate of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy.
Rushing, who announced his candidacy in September 2017, is currently serving as the KCSO’s chief deputy. He, too, has 20 years of law enforcement experience, including at SLED and was once assigned to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force. He has also worked for the S.C. State Grand Jury and S.C. Attorney General’s Office.
KCC District 5
Tuesday also saw Kershaw County Council District 5 voters return to the polls for a runoff between Republican candidates David Snodgrass and Brant Tomlinson. They received the most votes in the June 12 primary among four candidates vying to replace current Councilman Dennis Arledge. Arledge won the Republican nomination for county auditor on June 12 and will appear on the ballot in November although there is no Democratic opposition.
Following the official certification of Tuesday’s votes on Thursday, Snodgrass received 1,006 votes, or 50.73 percent of the vote total, with Tomlinson receiving 977 votes, or 49.27 percent -- a difference of 1.46 percent. That was not enough to trigger an automatic recount, which is required if the vote difference is less than 1 percent.
Back on June 12, Snodgrass led a field of four candidates for the Republican nomination with 33.33 percent of the vote. Tomlinson came in second with 29.29 percent. In third and fourth places, respectively were Jimmy Crissman with 20.59 percent and Janice Caldwell with 16.76 percent.
Snodgrass moved to Kershaw County in 2011 when he became pastor of Camden First Church of the Nazarene. He is president of Christian Community Ministries of Kershaw County, and of the Kershaw County Ministerial Association.
Tomlinson is a Camden native who works at the Mullikin Law Firm with his father-in-law, Tom Mullikin. He served as an airman in the U.S. Air Force Reserves from 2008 to 2014.
This year’s General Election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6.