Four men will vie to become the next representative on Statesboro City Council, filling a seat left open by District 1 Councilman Tommy Blitch, who resigned in August.
The men left standing when a qualifying period for the upcoming election ended Friday: Phil Boyum, Per Holtze, Maurice Jackson and Jonathan McCollar.
The candidates will have little more than a month to campaign for a special city election that will coincide with the general primary on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Holtze, the general manager and co-owner of Quality Inn and Manny’s Neighborhood Grill in downtown Statesboro; and McCollar, the owner of inflatables/fundraising company Jumping Jay’s, were the first to officially announce their candidacy Wednesday.
Holtze, 33, has lived in Statesboro since 2008 and serves on several local administrative boards. He is a board member and past chairman for the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, the third vice chairman of the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce and on the board of directors for Safe Haven.
Holtze, a graduate of Leadership Bulloch and Leadership Southeast Georgia programs, said it is involvement with several city organizations that qualifies him to represent District 1.
“One of the reasons I believe I’m qualified for (council) is because of those community commitments. I have a great passion to see Statesboro be prosperous, and I have invested a lot into Statesboro,” he said. “My involvement in all of these committees, in one way, qualifies my leadership skills because I cannot control appointments to those boards. They are boards that nominate me to take on those roles.”
McCollar, 38, is a Statesboro native who currently serves on the city Planning Commission and as chairman for the Bulloch County Democratic Party.
In previous elections, McCollar has sought office as both a state representative and Bulloch County commissioner.
He said he will run on a platform of “people over politics.”
“The reason that I have decided to run is because I think there are some things that need to be addressed in the community,” McCollar said. “One of the key things I am focused on is making sure District 1 gets a representative that will be responsive and accountable to the people that they represent, as well as a representative that understands the needs of the entire city.”
Boyum, a radio host and marketing consultant for Georgia Eagle Media, and Jackson, a managing partner for Longhorn Steakhouse in Pooler, qualified for the race Thursday.
“I am running because it is time someone put the people of Statesboro above personal interest,” Boyum said. “I like Erk Russell’s famous phrase because it is easy to follow: ‘Do Right.’ As a councilman, I will do what is right for District 1, what is right for the City of Statesboro and I’ll do what’s right for our entire community.”
Boyum, 42, has lived in the city for six years and has volunteered with the Unified Land Development Committee, Safe Haven, Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, Keep Bulloch Beautiful and the Averitt Center for the Arts.
He covered Statesboro City Council as a reporter with the Statesboro Herald for five years.
Jackson, 45, is a life-long resident of Statesboro, and worked at Longhorn Steakhouse in Statesboro for three years, before taking over the Pooler location.
He is a member of the Pooler Chamber of Commerce.
“It has always been a life-long dream to work for this community and the citizens — to make things better for residents, give opportunities to everyone out there, and see the city grow,” Jackson said. “I have seen all the things happening within this city in the past. I would like to be there and provide a voice for the people in the community.”
Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.