Like most political offices across the state, South Carolina Sheriffs must declare their political affiliation before seeking office. But once every one and a while, they’ll switch parties.
And that happened Friday with Sheriff Barry Faile in Lancaster County.
“I’m here today to announce that from this point forward, I will run as a Republican in Lancaster County,” Faile said.
Faile said he only ran as a Democrat because his father was a democrat and that’s been the political tradition of previous sheriffs in Lancaster County.
U.S. Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) said that Faile may be the first of many in the near future to leave a party that’s largely changed from what it once was.
Faile’s announcement came as a surprise to some today at a Lancaster County GOP meeting.
Others, like Mulvaney, said they have known about the pending switch for a while — and welcomed it.
Prior to his election, Faile served as Chief Deputy at the Sheriff’s Office and led the county’s narcotics unit.
Faile is currently serving a second term on the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association Board of Directors.