6 Republicans announce plans to run for Berkeley County sheriff

Six Republicans have announced their plans to run for Berkeley County Sheriff.

Wayne DeWitt — who held the post for 20 years — resigned Wednesday, more than a month after he was arrested on a DUI charge in Goose Creek after allegedly leaving the scene of an accident. His county pickup was seen speeding from a police car at 108 mph after he fled from a crash site, according to authorities.

New sheriff hopefuls stood up Saturday at a monthly Berkeley County Republican Party breakfast and announced their plans to campaign for the top spot.

They were Charleston County Sheriff’s Lt. Danny Isgett, retired Highway Patrol officer Marty Housand, North Charleston Police Department Lt. Brian Adams, Santee Cooper Law Enforcement Deputy Chief Duane Lewis, Charleston County Aviation Authority police officer and former Berkeley County deputy Jerry Merrithew and Bonneau Police Chief Franco Fuda.

The county Senate delegation recommended Calvitt “Chab” Clarke, 59, a retired SLED agent who lives in the Summerville area, to Gov. Nikki Haley as a possible temporary replacement.

Haley’s appointment would serve until a special election is scheduled and could not run for office.

Berkeley County Chief Deputy Rick Ollic is running the department until then.

Filing for the sheriff seat starts at noon Feb. 20, according to the Berkeley County Voter Registration & Elections office.

The primary is April 21 and the election June 9.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughtonPC.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Lt. Brian Adams as a North Charleston police officer. The error has been corrected.