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Mayoral forums set for October

District 1 council candidates to take part in second of two public forums

Mayoral forums set for October

Mayoral forums set for October


All hopefuls in a race to become the mayor of Statesboro will have an opportunity to address residents’ questions next month at a pair of public forums.

As of Friday, each of the four candidates — incumbent Joe Brannen, Jonathan McCollar, Jan Moore and Bill Thomas — have accepted invitations to attend the events set for Thursday, Oct. 10, and Tuesday, Oct. 22.

“I think the forums give a great opportunity for the voters of the city to meet the candidates, and ask any questions they may have for them,” Brannen said. “We are looking forward to it.”

Said McCollar: “I think this will give everyone an opportunity to be introduced to the candidates. We have a field of candidates that are popular among some groups, but aren’t very well-known by others. I think it is a great opportunity for us candidates to put out our platforms, discuss visions for the city and address how to implement that vision for everyone to hear.”

The Oct. 10 forum is sponsored by the Statesboro Herald and Ogeechee Technical College, and will be shown live on statesboroherald.com at 7 p.m. The event will be held in the OTC auditorium, preceded by a meet-and-greet with the candidates at 6:30 p.m.

The host site for the Oct. 22 event, sponsored by the Statesboro Herald, Northland Cable and the Averitt Center for the Arts, will be the Emma Kelly Theater in downtown Statesboro’s Averitt Center. The forum will be shown live on statesborherald.com and Northland Cable Channel 2. It, too, will be preceded by a 6:30 p.m. meet-and-greet, and will feature an additional forum for candidates seeking the District 1 seat on Statesboro City Council — incumbent Phil Boyum and Kelly Dabbs.

The public is invited to both events to speak with candidates face-to-face about any issues, or just meet the political hopefuls.

“I think it is very important for residents to not only hear what the candidates have to say, but to see how they present themselves,” Moore said. “I am looking very forward to participating and introducing myself to the electorate. In addition, when you get people together that are concerned, good ideas tend to come to the forefront. Hopefully that will be the case with these forums.”

Both forums will be moderated by Joe McGlamery, the president of the Statesboro Herald.

Candidates will be given two minutes each to introduce themselves, and then be asked a series of questions relating to their candidacy and issues facing the city.

They will have up to two minutes to respond to each question.

Each of the candidates will also be given two minutes to make a closing statement.

Questions will come from the Statesboro Herald and from a selection submitted earlier in the evening by people in the audience — who will be given index cards to submit a question before the event.

While not every voter-submitted question will be asked, because of time constraints, candidates may speak with the audience after the forum.

“I do think it is important for the people of Statesboro to get out there,” Thomas said. “To form their own opinions and ask the right questions.”

According to Shontay Jones with the Bulloch County Registrar’s Office, there are 10,654 active registered voters in Statesboro as of Friday, and another 4,646 inactive (still eligible) voters.

Monday, Oct. 7 is the last day to register to vote for the Nov. 5 election.

“I would like to encourage everyone that isn’t already registered to vote, to get registered and go out and vote,” Brannen said.

Early voting for the election will begin Oct. 14 and continue through Nov. 1.

Voters can access voting information – important dates, polling locations and a sample ballot — by visiting the Bulloch County Board of Elections website, which can be found under the “Departments” tab on bullochcounty.net.

According to the city charter, if no one candidate receives 50 percent plus one of votes cast in the election, there will be a runoff between the two top vote getters.

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

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