By 54 percent of the total ballot count, Greene defeated Democratic challenger Jason Soles in the race for Columbus County sheriff, despite stepping down from the position last month following the release of an audio recording from a 2019 phone call between the two.
“I’m sick of these Black b*****ds. I’m going to clean house and be done with it,” Greene said to Soles during the call in 2019.
The conversation came shortly after Greene narrowly defeated the previous sheriff Lewis Hatcher, who is Black. Soles was temporarily appointed as the acting sheriff while election officials investigated a complaint regarding whether Greene was eligible for the position.
Greene believed that the Black deputies in the department were loyal to Hatcher and had leaked information about him.
In the phone call, Greene suggested that disloyal Black deputies be fired.
“Every Black that I know, you need to fire him to start with, he’s a snake,” Greene said to Soles.
Several Black officers in leadership positions were later demoted or fired, according to reports.
Local NAACP officials condemned the recording, calling Greene's comments "divisive" and "horrifying."
Though Greene eventually resigned, he was still eligible to appear on the ballot.
“Due to my love for Columbus County and to spare my fellow citizens along with my family and friends the ordeal and spectacle of a long trial, I resigned as Sheriff of Columbus County for the term elected in November 2018 effective this morning. The allegations ... are not true. They were politically motivated,” Greene wrote on Facebook last month, hours after his resignation.
“I’m still running for Sheriff of Columbus County in the November 8, 2022 election. I am running to make Columbus County better and safer for ALL our citizens,” he continued.
After his win on Tuesday, Greene again took to Facebook, thanking his supporters.
“Thank you all!!!!!” he wrote.
Greene's win is set to be certified by the Columbus County Board of Elections on November 18.
However, District Attorney Jon David previously said his office would take action if Greene is reelected.
“These allegations speak through time and are disqualifying to anyone seeking to hold the high office of sheriff,” David said last month. “My office would have an ethical obligation to file, and will file, a new Petition to remove Greene from that term of office based on the allegations alleged in the current Petition to Remove.”