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Barry Faile says he has the experience and dedication to become Lancaster County's next sheriff.
Faile, chief deputy for the sheriff's office, announced his candidacy for sheriff Thursday afternoon before a packed room at the Carole Ray Dowling Center at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster.
Most people had to stand as they listened to Faile discuss his qualifications and what his top priorities would be if elected.
"I have looked forward to and prepared for this day over the last 18 and a half years," said Faile, referring to his tenure at the sheriff's department. "My campaign will communicate a clear and concise message from beginning to end."
Faile said he will focus on drug enforcement, gangs and funding technological advancements. He said he understands that people want someone with experience as sheriff who is willing to go out and hear their concerns.
Faile, 39, has worked for the sheriff's office more than 18 years. He's served as a patrol deputy, criminal and narcotics investigator, drug task force commander and patrol captain.
He's been chief deputy for about six years.
Cauthen endorses Faile
Sheriff Johnny Cauthen, who announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election this year, said he endorses Faile "200 percent."
"I know his passion for law enforcement," said Cauthen, moments after Faile gave his address Thursday. "He will be an excellent sheriff. He will listen to the people - that's what we got to have."
Faile is running as a Democrat. He's the first candidate to throw his hat in the ring locally.
Filing for the post, as well as other county positions, will take place in March.
Primaries are in June and the general election will be in November.
Several people on Thursday appeared as if they've already made up their minds on whom they're going to vote for in the sheriff's race.
Yvette Williams was one of them.
Wearing a red "Elect Barry Faile" sticker on her shirt, Williams said she supports him partly because of his dedication, accessibility and personal qualities.
"He has all the qualifications," Williams said. "He's an outstanding family man and professional."
A Lancaster native and resident, Faile and his wife, Crystal, have three children - Hunter, Kelsey and Connor.
Son of former sheriff
He is the son of Williford Faile, who served as Lancaster County sheriff from 1984 to 1997.
Williford Faile said having someone in the family who previously served as sheriff gives his son an edge over any opponents.
Through the years, Williford Faile said he's talked to his son about what to expect if he were to one day become sheriff.
"He knows the job well," the elder Faile said.
"He's got the experience. I think he'll make an excellent sheriff."
Contact Jesef Williams at 283-1152 or firstname.lastname@example.org