Brooklet will have races for mayor and two council seats, with no incumbents running. Meanwhile, Statesboro will have three council races, and Register will have two.
Among the four towns in Bulloch County, only Portal emerged from candidate qualifying week, which concluded at 4:30 p.m. Friday, with apparently no contested offices. Except possibly for Portal, which with one candidate for each seat may be able to cancel its election, the cities will hold them Nov. 5.
Joe Grooms III, 54, known to many as “Joe Joe,” signed up and paid the $90 fee Friday, becoming a candidate for mayor of Brooklet and making it a two-candidate race with Charles Howell, who qualified Wednesday.
Grooms, a lineman with Canoochee Electric Membership Corporation, has not served in or sought elected government office before. But his father, Joe Grooms Jr., was mayor of Brooklet for eight years, just before the eight years served by current Mayor William Hendrix, who is not seeking re-election.
The City Council races in Brooklet will be between Lonnie W. “Nicky” Gwinnett Jr. and Jason Randall Knight for Post 1 and between Edward Dinello and Bradley Anderson for Post 2. Post 1 incumbent Councilman Randy Newman did not sign up to seek re-election, and former Post 2 incumbent Russell Davis had resigned from the council in June.
Brooklet City Clerk and Administrator Angela Wirth said she is now scheduled to open qualifying Sept. 4, 5 and 6 for a special election, to be held simultaneously with the regular election, to fill the remainder of the current Post 2 term. The person chosen in the special election – who may or may not be the Post 2 winner in the general election – would serve only until the end of this year.
The general election winner will have a four-year term.
Statesboro’s 3 races
After some last-day qualifying, Statesboro has two candidates, an incumbent and a challenger, for each of its three City Council seats that are up for election.
Venus Mack qualified Friday to run for council in District 3, and so is a challenger for incumbent Councilman Jeff Yawn.
Sharri Barr qualified Friday to run for council in District 5, and so is a challenger for incumbent Councilman Derek Duke. For a time Friday, Don Armel, who was in the special election and runoff with Duke last year, signed up, but Armel withdrew before the day was out.
Paulette Chavers and incumbent Councilman Sam Jones are the candidates in a race for the District 2 council seat, since both qualified Monday.
In Register, challenger Shannon Grubbs and incumbent Councilwoman Tonya Boyd are in a race for Town Council Seat 3. William Ingram and Alfred L. Jones are both candidates for Seat 4, which has been vacant since an incumbent retired from the council months ago. Councilwoman Ann Ross is unopposed to keep Seat 5.
After Friday’s story stated that Register’s qualifying concluded with the usual 2 p.m. Thursday close of Town Hall, Clerk Amanda Knight emailed Friday that she had one more person coming in to qualify. She then sent Jones’ name.
In Portal, Roy Johnson qualified Friday as a candidate for council Post 2. The incumbent, Councilwoman Jennifer Motes-Yates, had not signed up, Portal City Clerk Mike Arrieta said when called at 4:20 p.m., just 10 minutes before the close of qualifying. He did not call later with any changes.
Portal Mayor Billy Boggs and Post 5 Councilwoman Delina Woods had qualified for their offices earlier in the week and remained unopposed. Cities can usually cancel elections when only one candidate qualifies for each post.