At least one Statesboro City Council district appears set to have a race to the Nov. 7 election, since first-time candidate Ginny Hendley qualified Monday morning to seek the District 3 seat currently held by Councilmember Venus Mack.
Mack did not sign up on Monday, but she told the Statesboro Herald last week that she intends to run, and she still has four days to qualify. Also up for election on the Nov. 7 city ballot are District 2 Councilmember Paulette Chavers and District 5 Councilmember Shari Barr. Both Chavers and Barr are seeking re-election and qualified as candidates Monday morning.
Candidate qualifying remains open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily, ending Friday, Aug. 25, in the City Hall office of City Clerk Leah Harden. Candidates must be residents of their districts and meet certain other requirements and pay a $227 qualifying fee. City offices are nonpartisan.
Hendley is the property manager for Hendley Properties, managing more than 500 rental homes or units. A Statesboro native, she attained a degree in communications from Mercer University and returned home to work in the business founded by her father, Ray Hendley, where all of her siblings and her mother, Laura Hendley, have also been involved. Ginny Hendley has two children, ages 5 and 6.
Running for local office is something Hendley has never done before but said she has always wanted to do.
“And at this point in time I just want to see Statesboro be all that it can be,” she told the Statesboro Herald. “I feel that I’m a great problem solver – I do a lot of problem solving in my job – and I want to do what it takes to put the work in to see what issues specifically need to be addressed and do what I can to fix them.
“I also just really want to bring the community together, and I feel like we can really do more together,” she added.
Hendley, 37, was recently recognized as one of Statesboro’s 20 Under 40 business and community leaders in the program hosted by the Statesboro Herald with honorees highlighted in an annual magazine. The Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce has also selected her for its 2024 Leadership Bulloch class.
Hendley is a founding member of the women-in-business group Women Inspiring and Networking.
She was last year’s Dancing with the Statesboro Stars fundraising winner and recently helped with the Dance Thru the Decades fundraising event for the Georgia Southern Senior Companion Program. She has also been involved in fundraising for Safe Haven and Lift as You Grow and is a supporter of Open Hearts Community Mission and Fostering Bulloch.
Barr, Chavers and Mack were all first elected to Statesboro City Council in the fall of 2019, when they outpolled and subsequently replaced the three men then serving on the council from their respective districts. An instant majority on the five-member council, they became in fact its first women members, although Statesboro previously had one female mayor.
“Yes, I am running again,” Mack said when asked after last week’s council meeting. “I’m looking forward to the next four years. I think we did great things this four, and I’m looking forward to better things to come.”
Also approached at the end of the Aug. 15 meeting, Chavers she is “looking forward to one more round.”
“I’m going to run because there are a couple more projects I’m looking forward to seeing done, so I’m looking forward to that,” she said
Chavers said she intended to qualify first thing Monday, and did so.
Barr, who a week ago said she was probably running, had made up her mind to do so by the weekend.“I’m still able and willing if folks are willing to vote for me, and I’m putting myself out there,” Barr said. “It really has been an honor and a pleasure. I’ve enjoyed all I’ve learned by working with City Council, so I’m happy to do it another term if others want me to.”