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District 1 forum set for Oct. 30

Challengers for vacant council seat to address questions from audience

District 1 forum set for Oct. 30

District 1 forum set for Oct. 30


Each of the men vying to become the next District 1 representative on the Statesboro City Council has committed to a candidate forum later this month.
Council hopefuls Phil Boyum, Per Holtze, Maurice Jackson and Jonathan McCollar accepted invitations to a public forum scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the Emma Kelly Theater inside the Averitt Center for the Arts.
The event is scheduled to conclude at approximately 8:30 p.m., is free to the public and will be broadcast live on statesboroherald.com and Northland Cable Channel 2, as well as area radio stations.
“This is a great opportunity for the residents of Statesboro to meet their candidates and compare them side by side,” said Holtze, the general manager and co-owner of Quality Inn and Manny’s Neighborhood Grill in downtown Statesboro. “I appreciate the efforts of the Statesboro Herald. You can count on me to be in attendance.”
The forum is sponsored by the Herald and will be preceded by a meet-and-greet with the candidates at 6:30 p.m. in the Averitt lobby, where hopefuls can meet with constituents and hand-out campaign literature.
Members of the public is invited to speak face to face with Boyum, Holtze, Jackson and McCollar about any issues, or just meet the candidates.
“The people of District 1 need to hear from the individual candidates; hear their vision and hear their plans as to where they would like to see the city and district go,” said McCollar, the owner of inflatables/fundraising company Jumping Jay’s. “Also, it gives us an opportunity to receive feedback back from people in the community.”
The forum will be moderated by Statesboro Herald President Joe McGlamery. Candidates will be given two minutes each to introduce themselves and then be asked a number of questions relating to their candidacy and issues facing the district and city. Candidates will have up to two minutes to answer a question, and will be provided two minutes each to make a closing statement.
Questions will come from the Herald and the audience. All audience questions will be collected prior to the forum starting and will be screened by the moderator.
“I think it is important that the people of Statesboro get a chance to see all four candidates up on stage, side by side, and can measure each one’s responses to see who they think is going to be best for the City of Statesboro,” said Boyum, a radio host and marketing consultant for Georgia Eagle Media.
The forum, as of now, is the only organized event in which voters will have an opportunity to meet all candidates in one location.
“It is important we do this so that the people can understand what my platform is and what I want to do for them,” said Jackson, a managing partner for Longhorn Steakhouse in Pooler and former employee at the Statesboro location.
According to Shontay Jones with the Bulloch County Registrar’s Office, there were 2,877 active voters registered in District 1 as of Tuesday, Oct. 9 — the number might have risen with a late rush of people registering just before the deadline for the Nov. 6 election — and another 443 inactive voters, as of Oct. 1. Inactive means people are registered and eligible to vote, but they either haven’t voted or had no contact with the elections office in the past two to three years.
To date, 139 District 1 voters have cast early ballots. 
In the 2009 election, 314 votes were cast in the District 1 election won by Tommy Blitch, who resigned in August, citing health concerns. The winner of the special election will fill the rest of his term, which expires in January 2014.
According to the city charter, there will be a runoff between the two top vote getters if no one candidate receives 50 percent plus one of ballots cast.

Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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