It is rare that an incumbent faces a challenge in a political primary, let alone a general election. But for some reason, sheriff’s races are an exception. It is likely because in many ways this is not a political position.
Most men (there has yet to be a female sheriff in Greenville) get to the spot by having spent years in law enforcement. It is an earned position that masquerades as a political one because of that. And as we head into the June primaries, it looks like Sheriff Steve Loftis is going to be facing a lot of competition to hold onto a seat that he has had since 2002.
Let’s look at the numbers.
Loftis has about $19,000 in the bank, but is spending a lot of money on consultants. It appears that veteran lawman understands he needs political help in order to win. His social media presence is huge right now with more than 1,000 Facebook likes, active followers and a strong amount of messaging. Normally, this would mean an easy victory, but his opponents are lining up.
First is Bruce Cannon, a former high ranking member of the Sheriff’s Office and now a high ranking Michelin employee. He has about 350 Facebook likes, and $5,600 in the bank. A lot of his money is coming from the Michelin world.
Next up is Sam Manley, who has a shade under 1,000 Facebook likes and about $2,200 on hand for a campaign. An interesting note that we found on his campaign disclosure form is he spent money last quarter at an appearance/booth at a gun and knife show.
Last but not least, and maybe most curious, is Will Lewis. He is only a master deputy, but has almost $30,000 in his war chest, an experienced Atlanta-based political team working for him and a nice website.