Late challenger defeats Camden County sheriff

Voters also toss Brantley County's incumbent sheriff

Published On: Nov 07 2012 01:12:34 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 07 2012 03:02:32 PM EST
Jim Proctor
KINGSLAND, Ga. -

Camden County Sheriff Tommy Gregory turned back a primary challenge from longtime Sheriff Bill Smith in July only to lose Tuesday night to Jim Proctor, an independent candidate who got into the race the week after the primary.

Proctor defeated Gregory by 1,307 votes -- or 54 to 46 percent.

READ: Q&A with Camden County Sheriff-elect Jim Proctor
RELATED:  Record turnout in Camden Co.

Proctor had worked under both Smith and Gregory in the Sheriff's Office until he was let go by Gregory. Within a week of Smith's loss, Proctor gathered more than 1,200 signatures to get on the ballot by petition in the General Election.

Proctor told the Tribune-Georgian that he plans to reinstate the inmate labor program that helped fund the Sheriff's Office under Smith -- a program that Gregory dismantled.

Brantley County voters also defeated an incumbent sheriff on Tuesday. Twelve-year Sheriff Robert Thomas, a Democrat, lost to Republican Jack Whisenant.