A race to decide the next Statesboro city councilman will be settled Tuesday, when residents of District 1 take to the polls for an election runoff.
Voters can choose between candidates Phil Boyum and Jonathan McCollar, who emerged as the top vote-getters in a four-man contest during the November general election.
Boyum and McCollar are vying to fill a District 1 seat vacated by Councilman Tommy Blitch, who resigned in August.
The two men nearly tied for the number of votes received in November, and together accounted for nearly two-thirds of votes cast in the General Election. Boyum received 448 votes (33 percent) and McCollar, 437 votes (33 percent).
Voting on Election Day will be hosted by Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Residents wanting to fill a ballot will be required to provide valid photo identification. A Georgia driver’s license, identification card issued by a branch, department, agency or entity of the State of Georgia/another state/United States, or a valid passport will be accepted. A military card or valid tribal identification is also OK.
Boyum, 42, is a local radio host and marketing consultant. He has campaigned to voters with a promise to “Do Right.”
“When I put ‘Do Right' on my signs and say it when speaking to people in neighborhoods, it really is a philosophy I try to live by every day - not just as a potential councilman, ” he said. “It is a philosophy that is good for the City of Statesboro and the citizens of District 1. I truly want to do what is best for the people of our community.”
With past experience as a newspaper reporter covering the council, Boyum believes he is well-positioned to step in as a decision maker.
“Over the past five years, I've attended more than 100 City Council meetings, budget hearings and work sessions, so I don't need on-the-job training. As someone who has been the ‘eyes and ears' of the community, I am committed to an open and transparent City Council,” he said. “I'm running for council because the people have been looking for an approachable candidate who has consistently shown that he puts the welfare and best interests of the citizens of the district and the City of Statesboro before special interests.”
McCollar, 38, is the owner of a local small business. His campaign promise to voters: “People over Politics.”
“The opportunity to serve the people of District 1 and City of Statesboro is the most appealing thing about running for this seat,” McCollar said. “I have a reputation of being a hard worker, a man of my word, and being committed to this community. This reputation precedes me. My hope is to continue on this path as the next city councilman for District 1.”
McCollar said education and experience serving nonprofit and volunteer organizations has provided him with the right tools for the District 1 job.
“I have the benefit of having been trained in, and experienced with, public policy management and implementation; the budget process and financial management; and administrative law,” he said. “My 10-plus years of training, writing, and implementing policies that encourage economic development, partnership and cooperation have prepared me for this responsibility.”
A simple majority, 50 percent plus one, of votes cast will determine Tuesday’s winner.
For more information about the election, residents can call the Bulloch County Board of Elections and Registration at (912) 764-6502.
Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.