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Register rejects Sunday sales; Portal voters deadlock

Incumbent Brooklet councilman defeated

Sunday package alcohol sales proved to be a divisive issue Tuesday in Register and Portal.

Register voters rejected the measure by a 16-10 margin. Those 26 ballots represented 24.5 percent of the city's registered voters, according to unofficial results from the Bulloch County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.

In Portal, the result was a tie: 70 voted for Sunday sales and 70 against, City Councilwoman Jerry Lanigan said, adding that it wasn't immediately clear what would happen because of the deadlock.

Voters in Statesboro and unincorporated Bulloch County approved Sunday sales two years ago, while Brooklet voters denied Sunday sales.

Portal City Council members decided to put the question up for a vote again after the margin denying Sunday sales in 2011 was only six votes, and some residents and council members had expressed an interest, City Clerk Mike Arrieta has said.

Portal also had two contested City Council races.
Lanigan, the Seat 3 incumbent, received 87 votes, or 58.8 percent, while challenger Jackie A. Woods got 61 votes, Lanigan said.

In Seat 4, incumbent Mira Barrett did not run again. Nan Finch won with 81 votes, or 57.4 percent, while Sissy Carter collected 60 votes, Lanigan said.

Seat 1 incumbent Billy Boggs was unopposed.

Meanwhile, an incumbent Brooklet City Council member was defeated Tuesday.

Seat 4 incumbent Edwin R. Smith finished third in a three-way race. Gregory N. Schlierf won outright, with 82 votes, or 53.2 percent, meaning a runoff will not be needed, according to City Council candidate Steve Allen Vezo.

Fellow challenger Sharon "Sherry" Rich came in second, with 39 votes, while Smith finished with 33 votes.

Seat 5 also will have a new councilman, but that was already known because incumbent Jim Orr decided not to run again. Thomas F. McElwee won with 90 votes, or 58.4 percent, and Vezo finished second with 64 votes, Vezo said.

Seat 3 incumbent Richard "Jim" Stanoff, who ran unopposed, finished with 129 votes, Vezo said.

Also in Register, longtime Mayor James Oates did not run, and John F. Williams was the only candidate to qualify. Incumbent Barbara Rushing ran unopposed for Seat 2, and no one qualified for vacant Seat 1, meaning council members will appoint someone to Seat 1 in January.


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