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Cobb puts his name on sheriff ballot, claims Colleton needs ‘new blood’ in leadership

A longtime law enforcement officer is formally announcing his campaign as a candidate for Colleton County Sheriff, saying it’s time for new blood to come into the county’s top law enforcement seat.
Mark Cobb is running for sheriff on the Republican ticket. He is among five other contenders who have already announced their candidacy in the 2020 election for Colleton County Sheriff. Incumbent Sheriff R. Andy Strickland has not yet announced whether or not he will seek re-election.
Cobb, 40, has more than two dozen law enforcement certifications and awards behind his name. He is also a former soldier in the U.S. Army and then served as a non-commissioned officer for an additional five years. After leaving the U.S. Military, he went into his law enforcement career.
“I wanted to continue to serve my country as a civilian,” he said.
A Columbia native, Cobb now lives in Colleton County and runs a self-defense business in Ruffin.
His work history includes his becoming a deputy with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office in 2001. There, he also joined the SWAT Team and then became a full-time K-9 handler for the department. Cobb is also a certified public safety diver and instructor. Additionally, he is a certified Senior Bomb Technician, having been trained as a Hazardous Device Technician, or a bomb tech, for law enforcement agencies.
Lastly, he is a business owner and a real estate agent.
“I am a God-fearing man who values family and has always loved the small-town feel that Colleton County embodies,” he said, in a written statement. “We chose to move our family and our business here for that reason.”
When asked why he decided to run as sheriff for Colleton County, Cobb says he is “saddened” by the current status of Colleton County, particularly with the increase in crime. “It does no good for me to sit back and complain about it,” he said, “without offering a solution. God has blessed me with the experience and knowledge to make a positive difference in Colleton County and I plan to do just that, leading by example.”
If elected, Cobb says his first objective is to open communication between the community and the sheriff’s office. “Transparency is major right now,” he said, on Sunday. “The community needs answers to a lot of events that have put us in the spotlight lately. I understand the judicial process takes time, but I want to educate our citizens on what is going on and help them to understand the judicial process.
“There are questions about parts of these investigations that can be answered, and that can give the families and the public information about crimes, without divulging information that is part of an ongoing investigation,” he said.
His second objective, if elected, is to restructure the department, he said. “There is a lack of officers actually on the road right now,” said Cobb. “Colleton is a very large county, and we have around four officers working the roads at any given time,” he said. “That is not safe for the public, and it’s not safe for the officers.”
Third, Cobb said he wants to create a program that allows leaders and members of the public to learn more about the ongoing law enforcement process happening in Colleton County. He calls this a Citizens Police Academy. “I want to give people an accurate idea of what the law enforcement process does to work for them,” he said. “This is not CSI, where everything is solved in one hour, like on a television show.”
Cobb was shot in the line of duty by a gang member from Colleton County. As a victim of a violent crime, Cobb said he understands first-hand the difficulties that victims must endure. “I went through the system as a victim. I know what it was like to fight the system and I know how to fix that,” he said.
Cobb is among five other contenders who are running for sheriff. He said he stands out from his contenders because he is “not part of the system.”
“There is a lot of mistrust with the good ole’ boy system, with regurgitation of leaders,” said Cobb. “There is a great group of guys here, but with the same leadership passed around and around and around. A new light needs to be brought into this,” he said.
Cobb is married and is the father of three.
To contact Cobb, visit his Facebook page at Mark Cobb for Sheriff.

Heather Walters (1529 Posts)