The two Republican candidates for the position of sheriff in Beaufort County will participate in a debate Tuesday at the Rose Hill Golf Club in Bluffton.
Candidate JoJo Woodward will face off against Sheriff P.J. Tanner in the forum at 5:45 p.m., according to a Greater Bluffton Republican Club news release. The club is located at 4 Clubhouse Drive.
Woodward will run against Tanner in the June 12 primary prior to the Nov. 6 election.
Woodward is a former captain of the Sheriff's Office. He is the first to run for the position of sheriff against Tanner in 16 years.
Tanner's last opponent was Democrat Butch Polk in 2002.
Woodward resigned from the Sheriff's Office March 26, according to Capt. Bob Bromage. At the time he resigned, Woodward was the captain of the office's Southern Enforcement Branch.
Woodward was born in Charleston and raised in Beaufort and Jasper counties, according to his page on the Sheriff's Office's website. He joined the Hilton Head Island Fire Department in 1984 and graduated from the South Carolina Fire Academy prior to beginning his law enforcement career in 1986 with the Sheriff's Office. He graduated from the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy in 1987.
He then went on to work for the Hardeeville Police Department as a patrol/drug interdiction officer in 1991, before returning to the Sheriff's Office in 1992 to work in investigations and drug enforcement.
Woodward was temporarily assigned to the DEA Beaufort Office from 2000 to 2001 and returned to the Sheriff's Office in 2005 to serve as commander of the Beaufort/Jasper multi-agency drug task force, where he was promoted to lieutenant.
He was promoted in captain in 2013.
Tanner was elected as sheriff in 1998 after his first bid for the position failed in 1994. He is a life-long resident of Beaufort County.
Tanner began working for the Sheriff's Office in 1981. From then until 1994 he worked as a patrol supervisor, boat patrol officer, law enforcement instructor, court liaison officer, criminal investigator, internal affairs officer, a SWAT Team leader, a drug task force commander and a southern division commander, according to the Sheriff's Office's website.
From 1995 to 1998, Tanner worked for the S.C. Department of Public Safety. He also worked as a S.C. Bureau of Protective Services Investigator for the executive, judicial and administrative branches of the state government.
During his time with the Department of Public Safety, he served on the Highway Patrol's special weapons and reaction team, as a state transport police drug enforcement liaison, as a member of the statewide special traffic alcohol and radar team and as a liaison and member of the Environmental Protection and Enforcement coordinating sub-committee for the U.S. Attorney's Office.