5 seek to fill void left by Orangeburg County Sheriff's death

By Tim Pulliam - email

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams died in September, and five men have filed for a special election in January to fill the void.

For Patina Antley, the main quality she's looking for in the next sheriff is a leader concerned about young folks. "Someone who will take interest in our community to give something positive for the children to look forward to," said Antley.

Mernard Clarkson, Russell Collier, John Cokely, Bobby Jones and Leroy Ravenell are all on the ballot to become Orangeburg's next sheriff. Ravenell is a commander at the Orangeburg Sheriff's Department.  Jones is a Community Response Unit Investigator with the department.

Clarkson is currently a Deputy Major, Cokley, is a former Captain of Narcotics at the sheriff's department, and Collier retired as a Sergeant there.

Each candidate has more than 10 years of experience in law enforcement. Antley hopes the top vote getter will create activities to keep children safe and off the streets. "They need something positive to look forward to, to focus on so they'll know they can get an education just to stay out of the system period," said Antley.

Monday was the last day for candidates to file for the election. On December 7, the county will hold a primary. If necessary, a runoff will be held on December 21. The special election is set for January 25 of next year.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.