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Monday, November 5, 2012 - 5:00am

Richmond Co. Could Elect 1st Black Sheriff

Voters in Augusta and surrounding Richmond County could make history this Election Day by electing the county's first black sheriff.

A victory for Richard Roundtree would make him the first African-American to serve as the top lawman in Richmond County in the office's 230-year history. Roundtree, a Democrat who now works as a schools public safety lieutenant, faces Republican Freddie Sanders at the polls Tuesday.

The winner will replace longtime Sheriff Ronnie Strength, who is retiring from office.

Mallory Millender, a retired Paine College professor and local political observer, says electing Roundtree would be significant because of a historically strained relationship between law enforcement and Augusta's black community.