Four entered the ring, and after Election Day, two still stand.
In a candidate-laden race for the District 1 seat on the Statesboro City Council, no one man received more than 50 percent of votes cast, requiring a December runoff between the two top vote-getters.
Candidates Phil Boyum and Jonathan McCollar emerged Tuesday as the District’s most popular choices, collecting, collectively, nearly two-thirds of votes cast.
The two men will square off on ballots in a runoff election Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Boyum led the way among candidates, garnering approximately 33 percent of votes cast — a total of 448 votes.
McCollar finished a close second, receiving 437 votes — about 32 percent of votes cast.
Per Holtze and Maurice Jackson finished third and fourth respectively, accounting for about 17 percent of votes apiece — Holtze received 232 votes, Jackson, 229.
Boyum, the local radio host and marketing consultant, was happy with final numbers.
“Of course, I am pleased and humbled that so many people from District 1 decided to come out and support the message we have of ‘Doing Right,’ and being an independent voice to work for the district,” he said. “It is exciting and incredibly humbling at the same time.”
McCollar, a local small-business owner, was just as pleased.
“I am excited to be in a position to be in a runoff. I think the voters made their voices clear — they definitely want to see a new voice on City Council that will stand up for them. I am excited and definitely ready for the challenge.”
A total of 1,346 were cast for Tuesday’s special city election. More than half of votes counted were submitted early. A total of 863 people voted either in-person or by mail before Election Day.
Looking forward to the December runoff, and an additional month of campaigning, both candidates say they will stick to their original messages.
“Though we are moving into the second phase of the campaign, and have one opponent instead of three, nothing really changes. We will stick with the ‘Do Right’ message, and the message of being a representative of District 1 first,” Boyum said. “The message, which we find resonates with folks, will hopefully continue to resonate in December.”
Said McCollar: “I was hoping to get things taken care of today, but since we were not able to do that, another 30 days won’t matter. We will go out, keep up with the mantra of ‘People over Politics,’ knock on doors, make phone calls, and go from there.”
In a presidential election year, Tuesday’s vote far surpassed 2009 District 1 totals, when 314 votes were cast in an election won by Tommy Blitch. Blitch resigned from the seat in August, citing health concerns. The winner of the December runoff election will fill the rest of his term, which expires in January 2014.
Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.