Resident planning to run for sheriff in 2016 race

STAFF PHOTO BY CINDY KUBOVIC Henry “Hank” Sims announced Friday that he plans to run in November 2016 for the seat of Aiken County Sheriff.

Henry “Hank” Sims announced his plans Friday to run against current Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt in the November 2016 general election.

Sims, 57, made the announcement at the Aiken County Judicial Center saying he is a lifetime resident of Aiken and has 36 years experience in law enforcement.

He is the current assistant chief/major with the Batesburg-Leesville Police Department. He worked for the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office from 1979-1985.

“I have decided to run for sheriff because this is my home, and as I travel around Aiken County I see this distrust between the community and law enforcement,” Sims said. “We have got to get involved in this community in order to build a better relationship with community members and get a feeling of trust built back up.”

Sims said he wants to bring fresh and innovative ideas with him to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

“I will be accountable for my actions and make myself accessable to members of the community,” Sims said. “If I am made sheriff, I will impliment resident deputies whose prime job would be to patrol and interact with the community. I think many officers have not had a chance to really interact with the community as they should. If people know you well they will develop a personal relationship and be much more willing to share information with you.”

Voters will be able to cast their ballot for the next president of the United States in November 2016, but Aiken County voters will also choose from several local offices up for re-election, which includes Coroner Tim Carlton, who will face County official Clay Adams, a forensic lieutenant with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, in November.

In addition to Hunt and Carlton, these officials will also be up for re-election: Clerk of Court Liz Godard; Probate Judge Sue H. Roe; Solicitor Strom Thurmond Jr.; Auditor Charles Barton; Treasurer Jason Goings; and Registrar of Mesne Conveyances (RMC) Judith Warner.

Also up for re-election are County Council Members: Chairman Ronnie Young; LaWana McKenzie, District 3; Chuck Smith, District 4; Andrew Siders, District 7; Willar Hightower Jr., District 8.

Tripp Girardeau is the crime and court reporter with the Aiken Standard.