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Fairfield County, SC (WLTX) - Fairfield County Sheriff Herman Young is stepping down from office after over two decades, citing medical reasons.

Young announced his resignation, which is effective immediately, on Tuesday.

"This has not been an easy decision to make," Young said in a statement. "On one hand, I have a strong passion to continue serving this great community that has supported me for so many years. On the other hand, I must think of my health and what really matters in life - my family. The Office of Sheriff can be rather stressful and at this point in my life, I believe it would be best for me to slow down and spend more time with my loved ones. It has truly been an honor to serve as your Sheriff for the past 22 years. Thank you for all of the support you have given me over the years."

Chief Deputy Keith Lewis, a longtime member of the department, will run the agency until an interim sheriff can be appointed by the governor.

Young was first elected as sheriff in 1992. During his career, Young was named South Carolina Sheriff of the Year and served as President of the South Carolina Sheriff's Association. He's also credited with creating a Summer Kids Camp that has been nationally recognized.

His term was set to expire in 2016. When Governor Nikki Haley appoints an interim, that person will serve until a special election can be held.

"Not only has Sheriff Young been an amazing public servant for 22 years but he is also a dear friend," Haley said in a statement. "We are proud to celebrate his wonderful years of service. He is moving on from this post the same way he led the community of Fairfield County, with strength and grace. Michael and I, along with everyone in South Carolina, owe him a debt of gratitude."

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