Sheriff C. David Stone lets his record speaks for itself.
As the second longest serving sheriff in the United States, according to the National Sheriff's Association, Stone said experience is something you can't put a price tag on.
On Tuesday, Stone announced he would seek another term as Sheriff of Pickens County.
“I have been honored to serve as Sheriff, and am humbled because I recognize the authority given to me comes directly from the people of Pickens County," Stone said in a prepared news release.
"I will continue to ensure that this authority is wisely and responsibly exercised, and that my deputies enforce the law in a fair, reasonable manner which protects the constitutional rights of our citizens. Ultimately, there’s no substitute for experience. You can’t put a value on it, and you can’t go to school to learn about it. Experience cannot be bought, only earned."
Stone, who is in his 11th term, will face three opponents: Rick Clark, director of public safety for Tri-County Technical College and a former member and mayor pro tem of Liberty City Council; Kerry Avery, the Central police chief, and Stan Whitten, a lifelong resident of Pickens County and a master deputy with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office.
Each of the candidates will run in the Republican primary June 12.
Stone said that some of the most qualified and most effective law enforcement officers in the state work in Pickens County. He pointed to the latest SLED statistics and Pickens County's rating on violent crime, which is the second lowest in the state.
"I am running based on the proven record of my office and employees, not on fanciful promises or inflammatory assertions," Stone said. "The long-term stability of the Sheriff’s Office, and the numerous successes we have experienced over the years, are due to the high-quality people in place at various times in our history. As a veteran, I know that with a large organization the best strategy is to put qualified, experienced people in particular roles, and then give those individuals the freedom to do their jobs. As with any team effort, it is the abilities and talents of the individuals who make up the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office that make it such an effective agency."
The filing date for primaries opens at noon March 16 and closes at noon March 30.
Read Stone's full comments in the attached pdf.