Brooklet's own state Rep. Jan Tankersley, Republican, swept the votes Tuesday night to win a second term in office. Currently representing the 158th District, but was shifted to the 160th when the Legislature redrew the lines earlier this year.
Tankersley overpowered challenger and Democrat Marc Silver, a Georgia Southern University senior majoring in political science and economics, with 11,099 votes to 5,319 votes, winning with 67.6 percent of the vote.
"It's been an incredible journey," she said Tuesday night as she waited for final numbers to be filed. "It is an honor to serve the people, and from the bottom of my heart, I want everyone to know how much I appreciate their prayers, support and encouragement. North Bryan and Bulloch counties are special places and I don't think you could find any better people in the world."
Silver said although the gap between votes was remarkable, "I believe our campaign did make significant headway ... and shows attitudes towards the issues I brought forward."
Silver, president of the Young Democrats at Georgia Southern University who was a legislative intern for Congressman Sanford Bishop in 2011, said he would devote attention to "strengthening the economy, invest in home-grown talent and improving ethics in the state" if elected.
Reduction in welfare program costs and decreasing unemployment also are areas he feels needs attention.
Tankersley, a Bulloch County native, said she intends to continue pushing for a more environmentally friendly Ogeechee River and hopes to continue focusing on improving Georgia's education.
However, she said people should realize
legislators have very little power when it comes to the Environmental Protection Division.
"The EPD is an executive branch of government; the director answers to and is appointed by the governor," she said. "We have no authority over the EPD."
Despite that, Tankersley said she has done the best she can as a lawmaker to impress upon Gov. Nathan Deal, EPD and the state Department of Natural Resources the importance of stopping the pollution of the river.
She also said she will make sure "education will stay on the front burner. It is always going to be a major issue."
It has also been her desire to "broaden the tax base" in Georgia. "Most of the burden is on property owners, and a flat tax or consumption tax will" more fairly spread the burden, she said.
Another focus she plans is a "Plan B for transportation since T-SPLOST (transportation special purpose local option sales tax) failed."
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.