LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC — A second person has announced intentions to run for Lexington County sheriff even though the next scheduled election isn’t until 2016.
The latest person to announce his bid is Richland County Sheriff’s Investigator Kerry Johnson. Johnson, who lives in Lexington County, has been employed for eight years at the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. He has 28 years of experience as an officer and is a former Lexington County sheriff’s deputy.
It would be Johnson’s second bid for the post. He lost in a Republican primary challenge in 2008 to incumbent James Metts.
The early entrants into the race are responding to ongoing talk about an unconfirmed investigation into alleged misconduct by multiple Lexington County officials. People have been speculating about who might run for office should some elected officials face criminal charges.
Metts has not commented on the reported probe.
Last summer, Jim Crawford, a lieutenant at the Columbia Police Department, announced his intentions to run for sheriff.
Crawford and Johnson have launched campaign websites and Facebook pages for their campaigns.
They are seeking to oust Metts, 67, who ran unopposed in 2012. Elected in 1972, Metts is currently the longest-serving sheriff in South Carolina though his tenure is not a record.
Staff writer Tim Flach contributed to this story. Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.