By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Hobart Lewis won the Republican primary runoff for Greenville County sheriff.

Lewis defeated AT “Tommy” Smith in Tuesday’s election, getting 72.3% of the votes to Smith’s 27.6 %, unofficial results show. The results will be finalized Thursday, news outlets reported.

More than 37,600 people voted in the runoff, according to the Greenville County Election Commission.

Lewis is a business owner and formerly served with the Greer Police Department and Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. Two of Lewis’ primary challengers, Robert Whatley and Darius Hall, endorsed Lewis as he headed into a runoff against Smith.

Smith is the former deputy director of the U.S. Secret Service. He had formerly served with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m excited and I’m relieved at the same time,” Lewis said to media after learning he had won. “It’s been a pretty arduous journey and I’m pretty glad to be on this side of it, for sure.”

After Lewis appeared headed to victory, Smith gathered his supporters at a watch party to thank them for their support.

“We really appreciate all the folks that voted for us and supported us and with that, I will just say congratulations to Mr. Lewis and I wish him well as this continues on into March 10. So with that, thank you all very much, I appreciate it very much,” he said, to applause.

Lewis will face Democrat candidate Paul Guy in the general election. The position opened after former Sheriff Will Lewis was found guilty on a charge of misconduct of a public officer.

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