Columbia investigator announces run for Lexington County coroner

A member of the Columbia Police Department has announced his intention to run for the office of coroner in Lexington County.

Gaston resident Andrew “Bear” Richbourg is running for the office following the death of former Coroner Harry Harmon. Richbourg is a criminal investigator in the Violent Crimes Against Persons/Homicide Unit for the Columbia Police Department.

“It is through my training, my current position in law enforcement, and desire to serve the good people of the county I call home that I feel that I am the best candidate for the Lexington County Coroner. My passion for investigating will result in questions being answered,” he said.

The 34-year-old is a lifelong resident of Lexington County and holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Midlands Technical College. Richbourg is applying to attend Columbia College’s online program to complete work for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Richbourg joined the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in 2001 as a correctional officer. He graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy’s Basic Jail Academy in 2001 and earned the Bert Friday Award.

He remained at the Lexington County Detention Center until 2004 before transitioning to work for a local commercial clearing and grading company until 2009.

Richbourg decided to return to law enforcement in 2009 and was hired by the Columbia Police Department. He then graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Basic Law course.

Richbourg was named North Region Officer of the Year in 2011 and was promoted to criminal investigator in 2012. While at the Columbia Police Department, he has attended training classes ranging from Reid’s School of Interview to Public Agency Training Council Homicide Training.

Richbourg is running in the Republican primary set for July 1. Filing for coroner ends at noon May 23. A special primary runoff will be July 15 if necessary.

Previous coverage: 3 candidates enter Republican race for Lexington County coroner