Newberry County Sheriff's race contested for first time in 20 years

Published: Nov. 7, 2016 at 12:22 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2016 at 5:59 AM EST
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NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The Newberry County Sheriff's race is contested for the first time in 20 years.

Incumbent Sheriff Lee Foster has held the office since 1989. He says he wants to continue creating and building programs like the department's Church Safety Education program.

He says the county's low crime rate and high solve-rate are among his greatest achievements - to which he credits his deputies' involvement the community.

"I always go back and I quote a famous Andy Griffith segment, 'A sheriff is more than a sheriff. The sheriff is your friend.' I want to be able to enforce the law, but I want to do it in the friendly, compassionate manner that I've been recognized for and I feel like I've done," Sheriff Foster says.

Meanwhile, his opponent and current Prosperity Police Chief David Beddingfield, promises to launch a war on drugs. He says he'll do that through streamlining the department's organizational structure.

He's also proposing getting more school resources officers in schools to combat gangs.

"It's time for new ideas. It's time for change in Newberry County. We need to progress the Sheriff's Department because we've got issues. We can talk about statistics. We can talk about solvability factors, but that doesn't do anything to address the problems that are going on in Newberry County," Chief Beddingfield says.

Beddingfield has been chief in Prosperity since February of last year.

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