Region & State

Columbia County elects first black sheriff


Columbia County voters on Tuesday promoted investigator Leroy Martin to the post of sheriff, succeeding retiring Mike Loe.

Martin, running as an independent, defeated County Judge Denny Foster, a Republican, 4,013 (66.59 percent) to 2,013 (33.41 percent).

Foster previously served as county sheriff when he was appointed by the Quorum Court in 2009 to serve out the term of the late Sheriff Calvin Knighton. Foster could not run for the job since he was appointed to the job, and in 2010 ran for county judge against incumbent Larry Atkinson. Atkinson won, but the Quorum Court once again chose Foster to complete Atkinson’s term after Atkinson died in February 2020.

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