By Schuyler Kropf
The Post and Courier
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson picked up the endorsement of Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon on Friday in a move that puts two local sheriffs on opposite sides of the highly competitive race for local prosecutor.
Earlier this week, Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt said he is backing Blair Jennings, Wilson's rival in the June 10 Republican primary.
Cannon said his endorsement of Wilson was prompted in part by DeWitt's actions.
In previous elections Cannon said he rarely took an endorsement stand for or against candidates.
In this case he said he wanted to endorse Wilson because keeping a continued silence might otherwise be interpreted as something against her.
Wilson has done a good job as solicitor following the death of Ralph Hoisington last year, Cannon said, adding that she has opened multiple dialogues with police agencies.
He called the race a case of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it,' adding that he has had more discussions about law enforcement and prosecutions with Wilson 'than with any solicitor since I've been in office.'
Cannon has been sheriff of Charleston County since 1988. He is up for re-election this year but is unopposed; no Democrat filed to run against him.
If DeWitt had not publicly endorsed Jennings, Cannon said he still would have supported Wilson, but it would have been 'less visibly.'
Cannon's endorsement helps illustrate one aspect of the race — the geographic divide of the 9th Circuit.
Jennings was the deputy solicitor in Berkeley County before he was ousted last year by Wilson, and he now works as legal counsel and press spokesman for DeWitt's Berkeley County Sheriff's Office in Moncks Corner.
Wilson was Hoisington's second in command in Charleston. She was appointed his successor by Gov. Mark Sanford on July 6 of last year.
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