Both candidates in the race for Bulloch County Commission Seat 1B have strong passion about county growth and progress. Long-time incumbent Anthony Simmons, a Democrat, is challenged by W. Scott Brannen for the seat.
Each candidate expressed satisfaction with a campaign well run, and both look forward to the upcoming election Nov. 6.
“Things have been going well,” Brannen said. “I have been getting a lot of feedback (from county residents) and if elected, I hope to give voice to all of the people in the district.”
Simmons said he has been busy on the campaign trail as well, meeting with constituents.
“It has been going pretty good,” he said. “I’m hoping to win, but never say never. You can’t take anything for granted.”
Brannen hopes to bring change to a district that Simmons has represented for several terms. “I hope everybody gets out and votes,” he said. “I want every voice to be heard, not just those in parts of the district.”
Simmons said his experience would benefit the county, and he hopes to continue working on projects such as the multi-purpose arena being built, as well as issues such as TSPLOST (Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) and SPLOST renewal.
“We have $5 million set aside for road improvements and paving projects, he said.
Both candidates feel intergovernmental relationships and progress are vital for the county’s success.
Simmons said he has “enjoyed working with a good group” of commissioners as well as municipal leaders over the years.
The relationship between the city and county can be improved “by working closer together on projects good for the county and city, getting more industry in Bulloch County; completing the Interstate 16/Hwy. 301 industrial park, solving waste issues, improving roads and bridges and continuing to keep Bulloch County safe,” he said.
Having joint meetings every quarter to inform each other on projects the other is working on” would be an asset to both governmental agencies, he said.
Brannen said working together with other governmental agencies in the county is important in maintaining a good quality of life in Bulloch.
“It is a challenge we face that I am prepared … to seek a bridge between great progress and the fundamentals that made and continue to make our county the strong, thriving and great place in which to live, work, attend school and raise a family,” he said.
We are fortunate and blessed to witness Statesboro and the smaller towns with local governmental entities flourishing in Bulloch County, and the local governments must embrace mutual benefits shared as a whole and individually. Communication is key to ensure better benefits that complement both city and county governments through more intergovernmental cooperation and aid.”
Both candidates are proponents for economic growth.
As far as bringing new businesses to the area, Simmons feels a good mix of large corporations and smaller, specialty companies would be good.
He said he would like to see “good clean industries with good pay, as well as ‘mom and pop’ type businesses. We also need more big chain stores.”
Bulloch has room for a variety of industries that would fit well with the ones already here, Brannen said.
“We should support and appreciate the local businesses and industries that are unique and beneficial to our county while striving to encourage new and outstanding businesses and industries that will choose to call Bulloch County home,” he said. “Many people are eager to see new grocery stores and shopping opportunities available here. Agribusiness industries are prime candidates I would like to encourage to complement our existing economy and industry.”
Simmons has been married to Joyce M. Lawrence Simmons for 35 years and the couple has two adult children. He is employed by Next Step Care and has worked with Pineland Mental Health and Inspiration.
Brannen was previously married and has a son. He is an attorney with his own practice, The Brannen Law Office.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.