Charles Goodwin was voted in to serve a seventh term as Abbeville County's highest-ranking lawman in the general election Tuesday, according to unofficial results.
Goodwin earned 47.23 percent of the votes to stave off Republican contender Skipper O'Bannon and petition candidate Raymond Vandiver to maintain his seat as the county's sheriff. O'Bannon finished with 40.02 percent of the electorate, while Vandiver accumulated 12.55 percent.
The final breakdown showed the Democratic incumbent finished with 4,970 total votes while O'Bannon and Vandiver notched 4,211 and 1,320 votes, respectively.
Goodwin was not readily available to comment early Wednesday morning, when Abbeville County election results came in. His most imminent opponent, O'Bannon, expressed some dismay in his failed bid to unseat the long-tenured sheriff, but did not rule out the possibility of running again in the next election.
"Of course I'm a little bit disappointed, but I feel like I've done a really good job," O'Bannon said. "I feel like I've done all I can do. I'm sorry for those that voted for me. I'm so appreciative for all their votes. I feel good that I tried hard, and I feel good that I'm going continue to work, and maybe next time."
Vandiver relished in the arduous toll of the campaign trail and said he was happy to have been able to hit the stump to spread his message of change.
"Congratulations, I know (he was) working just as hard as I was," Vandiver said of Goodwin. "It's just long and tired out, knocking on doors and talking to folks. I have really enjoyed meeting the people and listening to what their complaints are. And I was planning on doing something about it, and I'm mighty appreciative."
During the race, Goodwin listed some of his goals as gaining accreditation for the Abbeville County sheriff's department and detention center, continuing the agency's fight against drugs in the county and getting more resources for officers.
Goodwin, 61, has served in the Abbeville County Sheriff's Office since 1988 when he was elected, and patrolled the city as an Abbeville city police officer for 15 years. He touted his 39 years of experience and long track of leadership as his strongest assets against both his opponents while on the trail during election.