Jay Koon wins Republican primary in Lexington County sheriff's race

Published: Mar. 2, 2015 at 4:29 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 12, 2015 at 3:46 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Republican Jay Koon has won the GOP primary in the Lexington County sheriff's race.

Koon earned 58 percent of the vote, with Justin Britt coming in second with 25 percent. Dennis Tyndall came in third with 10 percent and Ed Felix came in last with 7 percent.

Koon has 21 years of law enforcement experience and says he is ready to get to work.

"We're going to have a plan in, and we're going to hit the ground running from day one," Koon said. "We're going to continue to bring honesty and integrity to get the public trust back. We got the train going down the track in the right direction. We're just going to build on that."

The four candidates were running to fill the office left vacant with last year's resignation of James Metts. The longtime sheriff stepped down after federal authorities charged him with misconduct in his handling of a program designed to crack down on illegal immigration.

Metts pleaded guilty Dec. 30, but has not been sentenced.

Koon, Tyndall, Britt, and Felix battled for support from more than 160,000 registered voters in Lexington County.

Voter turnout for Tuesday's election was 16 percent, according to the Lexington County Commission of Registration and Elections.

"Whenever you have so many people that were watching us lose our sheriff on TV and everything, you'd think they would all come out and vote for our new sheriff," Sara Albert of Lexington said.

Still, some believe the low turnout was even more of a reason for citizens to get out and vote.

"Every election is very important and a sheriff plays a huge part in our daily lives," Betty Richbourg of Columbia said.

Koon will not face an opponent from the Democratic party in the special election on April 21, Unless there is a successful write-in candidate, he will become the county's sheriff as the only name on the ballot.

Tuesday's election results will be certified Thursday afternoon.

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