Sheriff Cannon faces challenger for first time in more than 30 years

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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – For the first time in more than 30 years, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon is facing a major challenger at the ballot box.

The Republican sheriff is running against Democratic opponent Kristin Graziano, who is a long-time deputy with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.

“I have been in law enforcement for 32 years. For 24 of those 32 years, I’ve been safely leading SWAT teams to resolve conflict,” said Deputy Kristin Graziano.

Deputy Graziano has been working at the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office since 2002 and is now running against Cannon.

She believes an overall audit needs to be conducted on the office, and its finances, to see where money might be better spent.

“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.

Graziano also wants to see more diversity in the command staff.

Sheriff Cannon has held his position since 1998.

“I took over this agency when the voters in 1990 voted to abolish the county police, and put it back under the sheriff,” recalled Sheriff Al Cannon. “We set out to build a professional agency and organization.”

Sheriff Cannon says he still has work to do, like seeing the completion of the new juvenile detention center.

“We’ve broken ground on this juvenile detention center with a state-of-the-art, very functional juvenile detention center,” he said.

and continuing to improve the sheriff’s office, especially in areas like working to allow more access to digital evidence like phones and computers nationwide.

“I’m real pleased with where we are, and what we have in place to keep up and do things that are maybe leading edge, you might say,” Sheriff Cannon said.

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