- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2020

BAMBERG, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina’s longest serving sheriff said he is not running for reelection this year.

Bamberg County Sheriff Ed Darnell said he is stepping down to concentrate on improving his health and so the sheriff’s office can get younger leadership.

Darnell has been Bamberg County”s sheriff since 1978.

“I decided after having talked with my children and so forth that it’s time for me to go. I’ve been sick now for over a year. So I’m going to turn it over to some younger people,” Darnell told The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg.

Darnell was a police officer in Denmark before being appointed sheriff after the former sheriff died in office. He then won 10 terms.

Filing for sheriff starts on March 16 and runs for two weeks.

Darnell said both his twin brother and his son also went into law enforcement and he sees the job as a calling.

“I think my little motto has always been that everybody don’t need to go to jail, but there are some that need to go forever,” Darnell said. “We’re living now in difficult times, and I hope things get better.

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