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Hatcher wont run again
Blitch will run; Brannen undecided; qualifying begins Aug. 31
W hatcher bill
Mayor Bill Hatcher
      Statesboro mayor Bill Hatcher has decided that eight years is enough.
      Hatcher will not seek re-election after serving two terms at city hall, leaving the mayoral race wide-open with qualifying for city elections set to begin Aug. 31.
      The mayor cited personal and business reasons for his decision, made only after a great deal of soul-searching and deliberation, he said.
      Hatcher said he was happy with his tenure leading the city. He said he has seen a tremendous amount of growth and development since 2001, and he sees some challenges ahead for the new council.
      "I think the city is in good shape and I think we've made good progress," Hatcher said. "This is a strong community and we have wonderful people here and we will get through these trying times."
      The mayor was first elected in the fall of 2000 and took office for the first time in Jan. 2001. He was reelected in 2004 to his second term.
      Hatcher offered some advice for anyone seeking the office of mayor.
      "Be a public servant," Hatcher said. "This has been my philosophy for my time as mayor and I hope I've lived up to that ideal."
      Councilman Tommy Blitch, however, said he will seek a second term as the representative for District 1.
      "I sure am. I enjoy working for the people," Blitch said. "We've got to get moving and keep moving."
      Blitch said he's not going to change his style much if he retains his seat.
      "I'm going to do what I've always done - be honest and do right," Blitch said.
      Councilman Joe Brannen, representative for District 4, said he has yet to make a decision about reelection.
       "I can't tell you right now because I haven't made the decision," Brannen said. "I ought to know by qualifying week."
      Dwayne Grice, co-owner of Lori Grice Photography, is the only person to file a Document of Intent with the city, according to City Clerk Sue Starling. The DOI is a document that allows a candidate to formally create an exploratory committee to research a possible run for office and also allows a potential candidate to being accepting campaign contributions.
     "For the past several months I've been exploring the opportunity to run for the mayor of Statesboro. I've had a tremendous amount of interest in doing this for some time," Grice said. "As I began meeting with people in the community, many people expressed their desire to support me financially, so I decided to go ahead and file the DOI."
      John Riggs, a self-employed real estate appraiser, has announced his decision to run for the District 4 city council seat. In a press release sent to the Herald, Riggs briefly explained why he decided to run for council.
      "I believe that being able to serve in local government is one of our most cherished rights we have as Americans, and one of the best ways to give back to this city that I was born and raised in."
      Qualifying to run for mayor or city council will begin Aug. 31 and run through Sept. 4. Citizens in Districts 1 and 4 will be able to cast votes for the representative in their district while every registered voter within the city can cast a vote in the mayoral race.
      The election takes place on Nov. 3 and residents wishing to vote must be registered by Oct. 5. Voters can register to vote at the    Bulloch County Courthouse during regular business hours.
      Grice will appear on "Mornings unPHILtered" Monday to discuss the possibility of a run for mayor. Riggs and Blitch will also be on the program Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The show airs live at 9 a.m. weekdays on and is simulcast at the same time on WWNS-AM 1240. It is available on demand anytime on

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