All of Bulloch County’s towns – Brooklet, Portal and Register, as well as Statesboro – now have candidates for the Nov. 2 municipal elections, with some contested council seats in every city, plus mayoral contests in Register and Statesboro.
The five business days for candidates to qualify by filling out paperwork and paying fees at their respective town halls ended at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Only in Register and Statesboro is the office of mayor up for election this year, and two candidates qualified to run for mayor in each place.
The first report on Register’s candidate qualifying was obtained from incumbent Register Mayor Barbara Rushing. She has a challenger, Donnie Roberts, who previously served on Register Town Council but has not served as mayor. Rushing has served at least six years as mayor.
“Yeah, I’m in there,” Rushing said Thursday, confirming that she had qualified as a candidate for another term.
Two seats on the Register Town Council are also up for election: Seat 1, currently held by Richard Canady, and Seat 3, currently held by Sonya English.
Canady qualified for re-election and also has a challenger for Seat 1, Brittany Brannen, according to information obtained through a call to the Town Hall on Friday.
Meanwhile, Edmund Brannen qualified for Seat 3, but is unopposed, since English decided not to seek re-election.
In Brooklet, City Council Seats 3, 4 and 5 – currently held by William Griffith, Gregory Schlierf and Jim Stanoff, respectively – are up for election. Griffith and Stanoff decided not to seek re-election, Brooklet City Clerk Lori Phillips confirmed Friday.
But Brooklet residents will still have choices to make for all three seats, according to Phillips’ final qualifying week update. Several candidates had waited until Friday to qualify.
New candidates Rebecca Kelly and Hannah DiNello are both seeking Post 3; challenger James Harrison will face incumbent Schlierf for Post 4; and new candidates Johnathan Graham and James Holloway will vie for Post 5.
Meanwhile in Portal, the three City Council posts up for election are Post 1, held by Sissy Carter; Post 3, currently held by Jerry Lanigan; and Post 4, currently held by Clay Williams. Those three incumbents had all signed up earlier in the week. Then two more candidates qualified Friday, creating contests for two of the seats, reported Clerk Linda Harrington.
Thomas Coleman is seeking Post 3 as a challenger to Lanigan, while Roger Davis Jr. is challenging Williams for Post 4. Carter remains unopposed for re-election.
All of Portal’s council members are elected by voters from all over town, with no actual division of districts.
When qualifying closed at 4:30 p.m. Monday, no additional candidates had qualified at Statesboro City Hall since Monday, when there were qualifiers for all three available offices, with races for two of them.
Ernest Larry Lawton will challenge incumbent Jonathan McCollar for the mayor’s office.
Meanwhile, challenger Kristine Yager-Rushton and incumbent John Riggs will contend for District 4’s seat on Statesboro City Council.
District 1 Councilmember Phil Boyum emerged from qualifying week unopposed for re-election.
All of the local cities’ elections are nonpartisan. The last date to register to vote in one of these elections, for anyone not already registered to vote in the town where they currently reside, or to update an address, is Oct. 4.
Under current state laws as reflected in the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office elections calendar, Oct. 11 is the earliest date when registrars can mail out absentee ballots, and Oct. 22 is the latest day to apply for one. In-person early voting is scheduled to start Oct. 12, with Oct. 16 and Oct. 23 slated for Saturday voting.