Richmond County Sheriff candidates explain why they deserve your - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Richmond County Sheriff candidates explain why they deserve your vote

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

This year's race for Richmond County Sheriff is the closest race for sheriff in almost three decades.

The day before the election, the candidates are hitting the campaign trail as hard as they can, trying to capture the votes of remaining undecided voters.

Fox54's Mark Barber sat down with both candidates Monday and they explained why they deserve your vote.

Republican candidate Freddie Sanders said, "I believe I'm the most qualified. I was in charge of Richmond County police department for two to three years. I've handled a multi-million dollar budget; I've been over a large department that involves all the aspect of law enforcement."

Democratic candidate Richard Roundtree also said he has the experience to step into the role of Richmond County Sheriff.

"We've been constantly in law enforcement 20 years and I've seen the changes in the city and I've seen the changes in modern law enforcement and I'm prepared to move the city forward in the 21rst century," said Roundtree.

The candidates disagree on one important policy - community policing.

"If you are having problems in your neighborhood we want to come up with strategies together so we can combat that problem together. The only way that can happen is if the citizens get involved," said Roundtree.

Roundtree would like to establish a Citizen's Advisory Board and work with the community to fight crime.

Sanders says he also wants to work with the community; but unlike his opponent he says he won't establish an advisory board because it would create another level of bureaucracy between the sheriff and residents.

Another issue the two disagree on - granting second chances.

"He (Roundtree) believes in the sheriff giving people second chances and that's about the craziest thing I've heard. You've got to be fair you've got to enforce the law equally, it's up to the courts to give the second chance," Sanders, said.

Their chance to assume the role of sheriff, one of the most powerful positions in Richmond County, will be decided Tuesday.

That's why they're pushing for voters to listen closely to their message, because they say there's a lot at stake.

"The safety of the community," said Sanders.

Roundtree said, "It's awakening for Augusta."

If Roundtree wins Tuesday he would make history by becoming the first African American to become sheriff in the more than 230 years of the office.

Roundtree tells Fox54's Mark Barber the election is not about race it's about hope. As for Sanders, he says the vote comes down to qualifications, not race or party.

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