Assistant Lexington police chief Jay Koon is seeking to return to the law enforcement agency he just left as boss.
Koon, 42, announced Thursday that he will run for Lexington County sheriff next spring.
It came on the day he rejoined town police as its second-in-command after serving as a temporary top aide to interim Sheriff A. Lewis McCarty for five months.
Koon, a town police officer for 21 years, became the fourth candidate in a race that has attracted only Republicans so far.
He echoed McCarty in saying a sheriff should be “a local law enforcement leader, not a politician.”
Koon promised “professional service, proven leadership and an undying commitment to our county” if he is the choice of voters, focusing on quicker response to calls for help while working to reduce crime.
He waited to enter the contest until former sheriff James Metts stepped aside to battle federal corruption charges.
Others in the match include West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall, former Columbia police officer Jim Crawford and Richland County deputy Justin Britt.
McCarty isn’t interested in running for a post to which he was appointed after Metts was suspended following his indictment June 17.
No Democrat has emerged yet. The primary election is March 3.
A new sheriff could be in place shortly after the general election April 21. The winner will serve through 2016.