UNION COUNTY — A former probation and parole agent and former county magistrate is running for Sheriff of Union County.
In a Wednesday morning press confrerence in the USC Union Student Activity Lounge, Jeff Bailey announced that he had resigned as a Union County Magistrate to run for sheriff. Bailey said that he had sent letter to Gov. Nikki Hailey informing her of his decision to resign as a magistrate. He said that his resignation was effective 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Bailey, a Republican, said that he decided to resign in order to focus on running for sheriff. He said that by resigning he has lost his income and the insurance his family had through his being a magistrate. Nevertheles, Bailey said he felt it was necessary for him to resign in order to run for sheriff because he wants to “take this thing to the end.”
In announcing his candidacy, Bailey emphasized his Christian faith which he said would shape his campaign.
“I am a Christian and my campaign is going to be Christian-like,” Bailey said.
Bailey said that if elected, he would bring transparency to the sheriff’s office and provide full access to the media.
“The media should have full access,” Bailey said. “Freedom is very important to me. I will uphold the Constitution because freedom is very dear to me.”
Bailey said that if elected he would bring his 25 years of experience in law enforcement and the judiciary to the sheriff’s office. He pointed out that those 25 years included service as a Probation and Parole agent in Union and York counties and 18 years as a Union County magistrate.
A biography released by the Bailey campaign states that while serving as a Probation and Parole agent, Bailey also opened a landscaping business which proved successful. The business was so successful that Bailey had to resign as a Probation and Parole agent and focus on his business. After getting the business firmly established, Bailey decided to return to public life and was appointed to a part-time magistrate position. In the years that followed, Bailey was assigned additional tasks which required him to spend more hours in the magistrate’s office performing all the duties related to that position.
It is the experience that he gained as a Probation and Parole agent and as a Union County magistrate that Bailey said he will bring to the sheriff’s office in order to provide it with the new leadership he feels it needs.
“I want to see this county continue to thrive,” Bailey said. “To do that we need new leadership today.”
Bailey also emphasized his ties to and involvement with the community. He said it was his desire to remain a part of Union County that led him to turn down a job offer he received after graduating from college that would have required him to move to New York City. Bailey said New York City “doesn’t fit my style” and so he “chose to come back to Union to raise my family.”
As a result of this, Bailey said he has “a vested interest in this county” and because of that he is running for sheriff.
Bailey is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with Bachelor of Science in business. He has been married to Kim Stachler Bailey for 27 years and the couple have two sons, Aaron, a junior at USC, and Ethan, who is currently a junior at Union County High School. The Baileys are members of Lockhart First Baptist Church. Bailey is also a member of the Lockhart Masonic Lodge No. 244 where he served as a past master.
The Sheriff of Union County is David Taylor, a Democrat, who has not formally announced his candidacy but has said he plans to run for a third term.
With his announcement, Bailey brings to 11 the number of persons who have formally announced their bids for county or state legislative offices in Union County.
District 2 Union County Councilman Ralph Tucker, a Democrat, has announced that he is running for reelection. He is being challenged for the Democratic nomination for the District 2 seat by James R. Rice and John Glenn. No Republicans had announced for the District 2 seat as of Thursday.
District 3 Union County Councilman Tommy Ford has has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for a fourth term on council. He is being challenged for the District 3 seat by Republican David Sinclair.
Amy Austin and Melanie Lawson have both announced that they are running for Union County Clerk of Court with Austin running as a Republican and Lawson as a Democrat. The Clerk of Court’s Office is currently held by Clerk of Court June Miller, a Democrat, who has said she will not be a candidate for reelection.
Mark Cathcart and Tommy Mann have both announced that they are running for the Republican nomination for the SC House District 42 seat. The District 42 seat is currently held by Rep. Mike Anthony, a Democrat, who has yet to formally announce whether or not he will seek reelection.
Tommie Hill has announced that he is running for the Democratic nomination for the Union County Council District 2 seat. The seat is currently held by Councilman Randall “Chump” Hanvey, a Democrat, who has yet to formally announce whether or not he will seek reelection.
Both the Republican and Democratic parties will hold their primaries to nominate candidates for local, state and federal office. The following local, state and federal offices will also be on the ballot in the June primaries and in the November general election:
• US House of Representatives District 5 — Incumbent is Republican Mick Mulvaney.
• SC Senate District 13 — Incumbent is Republican Shane Martin.
• SC Senate District 14 — Incumbent is Republican Harvey Peeler.
• SC Senate District 18 — Incumbent is Republican Ronnie Cromer.
• Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor — Incumbent is Republican Kevin Brackett.
• Union County Council District 6 — Incumbent is Democrat Kacie Petrie.
Filing for candidates seeking to run in either the Democratic or Republican primaries opens March 16 and closes at noon March 30.
The Democratic and Republican primaries will be held on June 14. Runoffs for any nominations not decided in the primaries will be held June 28.
Voters who want to vote in June cannot vote in both primaries and must choose to vote in either the Democratic primary or the Republican primary.
Jeff Bailey has resigned as a Union County Magistrate to run for Sheriff of Union County. Bailey formally announced his resignation as magistrate and his intention to run for sheriff as a Republican during a press conference this morning at the USC Union Student Activity Lounge.
A group of Republican candidates and supporters gathered Wednesday in the USC Union Student Activity Lounge for a press conference announcing the candidacy of Jeff Bailey for Sheriff of Union County. Here they listen to an address by Union County Republican Party Chairman Michael Fowler. In the crowd listening to Fowler’s addressare Bailey, his wife Kim, their sons Aaron and Ethan. Also in the crowd are Bailey’s fellow Republican candidates Tommy Mann, Mark Cathcart, and David Sinclair.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or email@example.com.