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Riggs changes his mind about Boro Council re-election bid
Plans to seek fourth term in District 4
John Riggs Statesboro City Council
John Riggs

After a May announcement to the contrary, Statesboro City Councilman John Riggs has reconsidered and will seek re-election to the council in District 4, he said Wednesday.

The city has three posts scheduled for election this year: the District 4 council seat, the District 1 council seat and the mayor's office. Monday through Friday of next week, Aug. 16-20, is the candidate qualifying period. District 1 Councilman Phil Boyum and Mayor Jonathan McCollar have both said they will seek re-election.

Riggs, who in his 12th year on the council is its longest-serving current member, had announced during the May 4 meeting that he did not intend to run again. But after that announcement, he heard from many citizens who urged him to reconsider, he said this week.

"I have decided to run for another term for Statesboro City Council District 4," Riggs wrote in an email Wednesday. "Serving is often considered to be a thankless job, but I've never received such appreciation and encouragement as I have in the past few months."

The opportunity for candidates to qualify opens at 8:30 a.m. on Monday and ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20. They will pay fees and file the required paperwork with City Clerk Leah Harden at Statesboro City Hall. Riggs said he plans to qualify Monday.

"I've prayed and thought on this along with my family and constituents, and I am excited and thankful," he continued in Wednesday's statement. "The wants and needs of my constituents and the compelling desire to do right has always been at the center of my service to my beloved community."

Riggs, 51, is a self-employed real estate appraiser. He was first elected to the council in 2009 and served as mayor pro tempore by choice of the other council members in 2018 and 2019. He has long been an advocate for public safety spending, including increased police and fire department staffing and pay.

Since McCollar was elected in 2017 and three new council members were elected in 2019, Riggs has occasionally opposed some of what members of the current council majority see as progressive moves.

For example, in October 2020 he cast the only vote against adoption of the city’s Nondiscrimination and Equity Ordinance. But Riggs said this had to do with its creation of a preference margin for female- and minority-owned businesses in bidding for city contracts, which he said "discriminates." The new city law otherwise contained "many, many wonderful things" he supported, he said.

The qualifying fees, based on 3% of the annual salary for each office, are $227 for council candidates and $560 for mayoral candidates.

The date of the nonpartisan city election is Nov. 2.  A map of the council voting districts can be found at www.statesboroga.gov/maps.

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