KENNEY BOONE’S RACE COULD GET UGLY …
Florence County, S.C. sheriff Kenney Boone officially filed for reelection this week – setting off what could be one of the nastiest county-wide elections in Palmetto political history.
“I would like to thank my family, friends, and the men and women of the Florence county sheriff’s office for their continued support,” Boone said in making his announcement. “All of these people help me to better serve and protect the citizens of Florence county. Without a doubt, I am truly blessed to have such caring and supportive people in my life. It’s because of them and my desire to make the FCSO even greater, that I look forward to serving as your sheriff for many years to come.”
“Blessed,” “family” … etc. Sounds like an overt appeal to social conservatives, if you ask us.
Boone has come under fire in recent months – first for leaving the state during last fall’s “Floodmaggedon” rainstorm and more recently for his office’s heavy-handed tactics in pursuing a helicopter that belonged to another local government. Boone is also reportedly at the heart of a “major local soap opera” that almost prompted him not to seek reelection.
What’s that all about?
“You’ll see,” one source ominously told us …
Running against Boone? Jody Lynch, a 20-year law enforcement veteran who will campaign as a Democrat – a.k.a. Boone’s former party.
“I’m a fighter for those who can’t fight for themselves,” Lynch told us.
Lynch told us she’s heard lots of “talk” in the community regarding various rumors about Boone, but that her campaign isn’t going to make the sheriff’s personal life part of its focus.
“I’ve been told by strong Republicans that if Kenney was working hard for the people it wouldn’t matter about his political affiliation since he started out on the Democratic ticket in the beginning and then jumped parties,” she told us.
Lynch says she hopes Boone will agree to a series of debates so that the public can see the differences between the two of them on the issues.
Florence County is comprised of roughly 52 percent “Republicans” and 48 percent Democrats – although the county was almost evenly split in 2012 between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. In 2014, Nikki Haley narrowly edged Vincent Sheheen in Florence by fewer than 500 out of more than 35,000 votes cast.
First elected in 2004, Boone is an ally of powerful S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman – who is also facing a tough reelection fight in Florence County.