Write-In Campaign in Sumter County

There's a grassroots effort ongoing in Sumter County to get Chief Deputy Thomas Lewis elected sheriff.

Lewis lost a close Democratic Primary race in July against Tyrone Clark, 2139 to 2037.

Now volunteers Julene Ruffin Delaine has mounted a bid to get Lewis elected through write-in votes on the Nov. 2 ballot.

That's why she and 26 other volunteers are hitting the streets and going door-to-door trying to reach voters.

"It's time for us as a community to stand up," said Delaine. "We have a lot of people standing on the sideline saying, 'What can we do?' But they don't want to step out of the shadow."

Lewis says the write-in campaign was not his idea.

"I was surprised, because I thought it was over," said Lewis. "But when the committee contacted me, there were some things they said they weren't satisfied with."

That's when Lewis says he was happy to accept the group's offer to spearhead the write-in campaign for him. However, everyone is not embracing the idea.

"Really, it's an insult to myself, as well as the voters of Sumter County, because the political process has taken place," said Clark, who as the Democratic nominee is the only candidate on the November ballot. No Republicans or independents sought the office.

Clark says voters provided him the privilege fair and square. Despite this new development, Clark says he is not changing his campaign strategy

"We're going to continue to work like we have to work with the people," said Clark. "We've had positive response since this happened."

"I feel I've got a great chance," Lewis. said. "I really do."

In recent years, a write-in campaign in Greene County, Ala., was successful. The incumbent sheriff was unseated by write-in candidate Ison Thomas.

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