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Mark Whisenant Continues Campaign for Charleston County Sheriff as Write-in Candidate


CHARLESTON, S.C.- Charleston County Sheriff Race hopeful, Mark Whisenant, has decided to mount a campaign to run as a write-in candidate against SIX-TERM incumbent Al Cannon.  Whisenant was one of hundreds of non-incumbents who was prevented from running by the South Carolina Supreme Court in June.

Whisenant, 43, is a retired Charleston County Master Deputy and currently a Chief Warrant Officer with the US Coast Guard Reserve and an instructor at the federal maritime law enforcement academy.

The Charleston County Sheriff Race is very important and “Its unfortunate that the Supreme Court took choices away from South Carolina voters, says Whisenant.  “I think that the citizens of Charleston County deserve a choice after 24 years.  I think that the citizens of Charleston County deserve a sheriff who obeys the laws he is sworn to uphold.  Its time we had a new sheriff in town".

”Although he was recently arrested for assaulting a suspect, Sheriff Cannon has decided to run for a seventh term.  “One has to question how fit Sheriff Cannon is to lead this agency and set an example for his deputies when he has failed to follow the law himself,” notes Whisenant.  “Sheriff Cannon’s actions are an embarrassment to the community and that kind of behavior opens the county up to serious financial liability.  It sets a tone for the Sheriff’s Office that is completely unacceptable.” Law enforcement agencies around the country have been forced to pay multi-million dollar settlements to victims of police brutality. 

Cannon has admitted to slapping a handcuffed suspect after engaging him in a lengthy high speed chase over a minor traffic incident during which shots were fired at an unarmed man by Cannon and his deputies.  Whisenant feels this incident put innocent lives at risk and he believes the leader of a law enforcement agency needs to be able to control his temper and set an example for his deputies.

Whisenant doesn’t limit his criticisms to Sheriff Cannon’s legal troubles.  Charleston County currently has 46,000 active warrants.  “There are criminals – many of them with violent histories – that are running around free in Charleston County because the Sheriff’s Office hasn’t dedicated the manpower to finding them,” proclaims Whisenant.  He would propose to rearrange staffing in the department to make serving outstanding arrest warrants a priority, with an emphasis on violent suspects.

The Sheriff’s Office is also responsible for tracking and monitoring sex offenders in Charleston County.  Whisenant points out that Sheriff Cannon only has one full-time deputy assigned to this task, which he claims is completely inadequate in a county of 350,000 people.  “The failure to properly track these dangerous offenders puts women and children in this county at risk".

Whisenant realizes that he faces an uphill battle to win an election as a write-in candidate.  No candidate has won as a write-in in decades.  “I had planned on doing this from the beginning.  The Supreme Court tried to take the choice away from the citizens of Charleston County, but especially under the current circumstances, I believe the people need a choice for the county’s top law enforcement officer.  That choice should be Mark Whisenant.”

In the 2012 Charleston Election ballot, Whisenant’s name will not appear on the ballot, so voters will have to write it in themselves.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the most common name, so he wants to make sure the voters know how to spell it: W-H-I-S-E-N-A-N-T.

To learn more about Mr. Whisenant, please visit his website at: or on a mobile device at:


 Charleston County Sheriff
 Mark Whisenant
 2012 Charleston Election

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