CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – There was a major upset in the race for Charleston County sheriff.
Democratic challenger Kristin Graziano defeated long-time sheriff Al Cannon.
The official call was made early Wednesday morning with Deputy Graziano beating Sheriff Cannon by a 2.8 percent margin. More than 215,000 votes were cast and Graziano collected more than 100,000.
Cannon has been sheriff in Charleston County since 1988. This election was the first in 30 years Cannon faced a major challenger at the polls.
Recently, he led the groundbreaking on the state-of-the-art juvenile detention center, and has worked to improve more access to digital evidence.
“I took over this agency when the voters in 1990 voted to abolish the county police, and put it back under the sheriff,” he said ahead of election day.
Deputy Graziano has been working at the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office since 2002 and has officially become sheriff.
For 24 years, Graziano has led the SAT team to resolve conflict. She believes an overall audit needs to be done to see where money could be better spent and wants to see more diversity in the command staff.
“I think it’s responsible to share the results of those audits with the community and engage them in the problem-solving portion of that,” she said.
Sheriff Cannon has yet to publicly address the results. He is expected to hold a press conference Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., Graziano will address the public at 3:00 p.m.
Sheriff-elect Graziano posted to social media stating “We did it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”