A Jonesville man who served more than 30 years in the military and in law enforcement is running for sheriff.
Marshall Adams announced Monday that he will seek the Republican nomination for sheriff of Union County. Adams, a Union native who graduated from Jonesville High School in 1968, began his law enforcement career in the early 1970s with the SC Department of Corrections before joining the Jonesville Police Department. In 1976, Adams became an officer of the Union Police Department where he remained until joining the SC Highway Patrol in 1985. He served in the Highway Patrol until 2001 when he retired with the rank of corporal, but would rejoin the patrol on a temporary basis in 2005 and again 2008.
While serving in law enforcement, Adams was also a member of the SC National Guard, joining in 1978 and serving 31 years before retiring in 2009 with the rank of Sgt. 1st Class. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Adams was deployed with the guard to Greenville-Spartanburg Airport and McCready Training Center at Fort Jackson. After being released from active duty with the guard in 2004, Adams started and oversaw a security program for the guard at the McCready Training Center and the TAG building in Columbia which houses the office of the SC Adjutant General.
In 2005, Adams returned to the highway patrol as a temporary employee, serving until 2007 when he was deployed with the guard to Afghanistan. After returning from Afghanistan in 2008, Adams again served with the highway patrol in a temporary capacity before finally retiring in 2009.
Adams said Monday he wants to bring the supervisory experience he gained in law enforcement and the military to the sheriff’s office.
“As a corporal in the highway patrol I was a supervisor of the men who worked under me,” Adams said. “At one time, me and the sergeant had eight men under us.
“I retired from the National Guard as a Sgt. 1st Class,” he said. “When I was in Afghanistan I had six people under me. When I came back home I had a squad with an average of 15 people under me.”
Adams said his experience in law enforcement and in the military taught him the importance of being out among the community, listening to the people and learning from them about what’s going on. He said this reinforced his own outgoing nature and that if elected both he and his deputies will be out in the community interacting with the public.
“I’m a people person, I enjoy being around people, I enjoy helping people,” Adams said. “I’m very much a community-oriented person and as sheriff of Union County I’d be a community sheriff. I’d be out among the people of Union County.
“I would have deputies going out into the community and talking to people,” he said. “They need to be out in the community among the people, especially when they are not on call. When you’re not on call you’ve got time you can go out and see people, talk to people and gather information that might help everybody.”
Adams said his office could then use the computers and other technology it has to build on the information gathered by himself and his deputies from the public to improve law enforcement efforts in the county.
Since his retirement from the highway patrol and the guard, Adams has worked part-time as a truck driver for Adams Brothers Logging which is owned by his cousins. He said retirement has given him the opportunity to again serve the community, this time as sheriff.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and it seemed like a good time to do it,” Adams said. “If I’m elected, all the people of Union County will be my priority.”
Adams and his wife Gail live at 126 Ashley Katie Drive, Jonesville, and attend Fosters Chapel United Methodist Church. The couple have five children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. In addition to his involvement in church, Adams is a Mason.
Adams is the third candidate to announce for sheriff of Union County. Sheriff David Taylor has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for a second term as sheriff. Also seeking the Democratic nomination for sheriff is William Jolly, who served as sheriff from 1981-1993.
Adams is one of three Republicans to announce their candidacy for office in Union County. On Friday, Ronda Adams-Palmer, a math teacher at Union County High School, announced that she would seek the Republican nomination for the District 3 Union Council seat. Like Adams, Adams-Palmer is also making her first bid for public office. The District 3 seat is currently held by councilman Tommy Ford who has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for a third term on council.
Another Republican candidate is Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault who is seeking a term in his own right as clerk of court. Gault was appointed clerk of court in 2009 and is currently serving out the unexpired term of his predecessor. As of Monday afternoon, no Democrats had announced for clerk of court.
Santuc native and community activist Curtiss Hunter has announced she will seek the Democratic nomination for the District 2 county council seat. The seat is currently held by council member Dora Martin-Jennings who has not announced whether or not she will seek another term on council.
SC House District 42 Rep. Mike Anthony has said he will seek the Democratic nomination for a sixth term in the House.