Hudson sworn in as county’s new sheriff

New Darlington County Sheriff James Hudson is sworn in Sunday by county Coroner Todd Hardee. PHOTO BY BOBBY BRYANT

By Bobby Bryant

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“I can’t thank you enough for being part of this journey,” new Darlington County Sheriff James Hudson told the audience at Hartsville’s Center Theater as he was sworn into office Sunday. Hudson, who will be the county’s first African-American sheriff since Reconstruction, said he was to take over the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday from departing Sheriff Tony Chavis. Both are Democrats; Hudson claimed the party’s nomination in the June primaries and defeated GOP challenger Michael August in November. “What God has planned for you, it doesn’t matter what somebody else does, they can’t change it,” Hudson, a former Hartsville police chief, told the audience. “We have been through some obstacles for eight months. … We stayed with the plan. Regardless of what stones were thrown, we overcame those stones.” Hudson, who was sworn in by Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee, said he began considering a bid for sheriff about 10 years ago. “If you have faith in God,” you can accomplish anything, he said. “It ain’t gonna be easy, but anything that is easy is not worth having. Obstacles, people who don’t want you to have something that God has already ordained for you to have, (they) can’t stop it.” Hudson brought several members of his new senior staff onstage, swore them in and introduced them to the audience. He said of his choices: “We wanted a good person, that’s what we wanted.” The new sheriff’s senior staff will include Chief Deputy Chad McInville, Capt. Robin Bryant in charge of investigations, Capt. Curtis Bryant in charge of patrol, Capt. Mark Campbell in charge of operations and Maj. Waddell Coe in charge of the county detention center. Guest speaker state Sen. Gerald Malloy of Hartsville told the audience, “The election is over. Now it’s time to allow our elected leaders to lead.” Hudson pulled off an upset victory in the June 9 primaries, seizing the Democratic nomination for sheriff from one-term incumbent Chavis. In the Nov. 3 general elections, Hudson defeated GOP challenger August 49 percent to 45 percent, according to unofficial returns. The victory makes Hudson Darlington County’s first black sheriff since Reconstruction, when Thomas C. Cox, a freeborn native of Charleston, served as sheriff from 1868 to 1876. (That historical note was not mentioned during Hudson’s swearing-in Sunday.)

Author: Rachel Howell

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