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Wednesday evening, Lexington County Sheriff Candidate Garry Rozier loses his appeal to be placed back on the Lexington County June 11th Primary Ballot

Lexington, SC 04/25/2024 (Paul Kirby) – Wednesday evening, Garry Rozier, one of the three challengers that are running against Republican incumbent Sheriff Jay Koon in the race for Lexington County Sheriff, lost his appeal to be returned to the Republican June Primary ballot. In Lexington County, the winner of the spring primary is almost guaranteed to win that position for the next four years. This is because no Democrats usually files to run for the job. In Lexington County, this means that in the November election, the ballot will list the winner of the Republican Primary, and then have a few lines for write-in candidates. These are there in case someone doesn’t want to vote for the winner of the June primary for Sheriff. 

 

Voters will have their first opportunity to cast their ballots for Sheriff and the many others elected positions up for grabs on June 11th, 2024. This is that all important Republican Primary election. Rozier lost his opportunity to be on that ballot after allegations surfaced regarding whether he met the residency requirements to run in Lexington County. 

 

Rozier says he owns a home on Lake Murray in Newberry County but rents and lives in a home in the Chapin area of Lexington County where he has now lived for more than a year. According to Rozier, he made this move to Lexington County to be closer to friends, acquaintances, and the leisure time activities he enjoys. Living in the Chapin community of Lexington County facilitates all of that according to Rozier. 

 

According to Rozier, in early 2023, he moved from the home he owns in Newberry County to the rented home he now enjoys in the Chapin area of Lexington County. State law says that a candidate for an elected position must live in the county they are running for office in 1 year prior to an election. By that measure, Rozier says he meets that requirement with plenty of time to spare for the November General Election. The question was, did he live in Lexington County the required 1-year prior to this summer's June 11, 2024, Republican Primary.  



To prove that Rozier lived in Lexington County for that 1-year period, he says within a few days of moving to Chapin, he changed his driver’s license, his voter registration address, and submitted a change of address with the USPS to his new Chapin address. He has all the documentation to prove that. Rozier said that what he forgot to change was the tax records with Newberry County that would show his home there is no longer owner occupied and therefore no longer qualifies for the 4% owner occupied property tax rate. “I paid my property taxes at the rate of 4% to Newberry County last year on time for my Newberry County home. After all these residency questions began to come out. I called Newberry County, told them home much time I lived in the lake house in 2023, and they said the 4% rate was okay for 2023,” Rozier stated in a phone interview Thursday. “I had paid those taxes on time that year, so I was comfortable I had done the right thing. Just recently, a friend of mine called me and brought up the question of whether I had changed my Newberry County property to the 6% tax rate after I paid the 2023 taxes” Rozier stated. “I realized I had overlooked that detail, so I immediately called Newberry County and asked them to make the necessary change to classify the home as non owner occupied. Now, when I receive my 2024 tax bill from Newberry County in September of this year, it will be at the 6% rate. I'll pay that when it comes in. This means I have in no way financially benefited from my oversight."

 

Rozier continued by saying, "Even though I provided all the documentation that I and my lawyer thought proved I have lived in Lexington County for well over a year, the judge in the assigned court in deep blue Richland County ruled that because of my oversight in changing the tax rate, this meant to her I was still residing in Newberry County much later than I did. My attorney and I really believe the because the judge favorably ruled on some cases prior to mine being called, the fact that I was a Republican from Lexington County meant that she wasn’t really going to spend a great deal of time considering all the evidence we presented in my case. She seems to have zeroed in on the one mistake I had made with the tax rate and made a quick decision against me in the case.” Rozier said that it was getting late by the time his case was heard and it was almost like the presiding judge suddenly realized she was running late for something out of the courtroom that evening. "She didn't want to look at and consider each piece of evidence in the case. She just wanted to look at a way to get out of there quick and get wherever else she wanted to be."

 

Rozier agreed that he felt like Donald Trump trying to get a fair trial in New York City. It’s probably not going to happen when the prosecuting attorney that brought the charges, the judge that is presiding over the trial, and all the members of the jury pool are far left Democrats!

 

Rozier really believes that all of this came up as a dirty political maneuver instigated by the incumbent’s campaign staff. He believes that all their efforts to remove him from the ballot began because the incumbent and his campaign staff are afraid that Rozier had a distinct possibility of winning the race and ousting Sheriff Koon.

 

“My phone has been ringing off the hook all day today,” Rozier said Thursday. “The calls are from friends, supporters, and residents of the county who believe that the Lexington County Sheriff's Department is being mismanaged. They really feel it’s time for a change and they want the reigns handed over to someone new. They say that person should be me. All the callers say they are still with me and will vote for me however they can,” Rozier stated. 

 

“After considering what people have been saying over the past few weeks, and especially over the past day since the hearing, I really believe that many of the citizens of our County here want me as a choice on the ballot in November. Based on all these factors, I’ve decided to run as an independent candidate for sheriff in the General Election” Rozier stated. “This just means I will not be on the ballot in June but can be on the ballot in November.” 

 

Rozier continued by saying, “People who want to vote for me for Sheriff will need to make sure they don’t cast their ballots for all Republicans when that choice is offered to them in November. They will simply need to take a few more seconds to vote for each candidate they want to vote for one by one. When they get to the race for Sheriff, they can then select me as their choice for Lexington County Sheriff on the Independent ticket,” he said. 

 

If you would like to learn more about Garry Rozier and his run to unseat Sheriff Jay Koon in November. You can follow him on his Facebook page. That can be found by following this link to his Facebook account. You can also find Rozier’s website by following this link (website). He can be reached by telephone at 803 807-1544 or by email at admin@rozierforsheriff.com.



 

 

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