LANCASTER — Sheriff Barry Faile, twice elected as a Democrat, has changed his party affiliation to Republican.
Faile made the switch Friday during a meeting of Lancaster County Republicans.
“As sheriff, my commitment has always been to serve everyone in Lancaster County, not one particular group or those who vote a particular way. I’m here to announce that from this point forward I intend to run as a Republican,” Faile said.
With the switch, Faile becomes the first Republican sheriff in the history of Lancaster County.
South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly said Faile’s move was further evidence of GOP strength in the county.
“Lancaster County has been trending increasingly Republican,” Connelly said. “In 2010, it went heavily for the GOP statewide ticket and voted to send one of its own – Mick Mulvaney – to Congress.
“Last year, it elected its first-ever Republican majority on county council. Sheriff Faile’s decision to come home to the Republican Party is a sign of things to come.”
In 2012, Lancaster County voters elected Republicans – Larry McCullough, Brain Carnes, Bob Bundy and Steve Harper – to all four council seats.
Lancaster County GOP Chairman Sandy McGarry said, “Sheriff Faile is not the first to come home to the GOP, and he won’t be the last. Anyone who shares our values of ethical and fiscally responsible government and a safer and more prosperous Lancaster County is welcome to join our team.”
State Sen. Greg Gregory, R-Lancaster, said, “Twenty years ago, it was an honor to become the first Republican elected in Lancaster County since Reconstruction. Since then, I have enjoyed watching the party grow through many fine additions. Sheriff Barry Faile is a great friend, lawman and leader. I’m proud to have him as the newest member of our party.”
State Rep. Deborah Long, R-Indian Land, said, “Republican or Democrat, Sheriff Faile has proven himself to be an excellent leader and the right man for the job. I fully supported him before and even more proud to support him now.”
Republican Party National Committee member Glenn McCall of Rock Hill thanked Faile for his diligent service to the residents of Lancaster County.