UPDATE: Pickens County Sheriff David Stone Concedes in Runoff Election
Clark thanks voters for support, Sheriff Stone for years of service.
South Carolina’s longest serving sheriff has been unseated during a runoff election.
Pickens County Sheriff C. David Stone has conceded Tuesday's Republican Sheriff's race to challenger Rick Clark.
As results began coming in Tuesday evening, Clark took a commanding lead.
At the time rumors began to spread that Stone had conceded, Clark had 4,145 votes to Stone's 3,092.
Sheriff Stone said conceding the race "was the right thing to do."
"We couldn't overcome what Clark had," Stone said.
He wanted to thank the citizens who had supported him for the past 43 and a half years.
"It was a good 43 and a half years," Stone said. "It was good for me and good for the county. We were there when it came to violent crime. We had the lowest violent crime rate in the state."
He said he was proud of what his employees accomplished during his tenure as county sheriff.
Stone said he believed his last day as Sheriff would Jan. 3.
When asked what his plans were, Stone said he hadn't thought that far ahead.
"I'll guess I'll do some things I hadn't thought I'd get to do for awhile," Stone said. "I'm not going to look for another job."
Clark says he wants to thank the voters of Pickens County for their support, and Sheriff Stone for his service.
"It’s been an amazing night,” Clark said. "To Sheriff Stone, I say, 'Thank you for your years of dedicated service to Pickens County. Thank you for giving me my start in law enforcement. I really appreciate what you've done for Pickens County."
Clark said he was surprised at the support, which gave him an early lead, which did not flag all evening.
"The numbers have been a total amazement to me all night," Clark said. "Thank you to the voters of Pickens County, thank you for your prayers and thank you for the numbers you brought tonight. I am humbled and thrilled all at once."
Clark will face Independence Party candidate Keith Culbreath in November.