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House incumbents face opposition

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of surveys answered by candidates in the November general election.

Two of the three seats that serve Bryan County in the state House of Representatives up for grabs in the general election are being contested and voters in districts 160 and 164 will have to make a choice on Nov. 6.
Voters in North Bryan will see two names on the ballot for House District 160. The incumbent, Rep. Jan Tankersley, R-Brooklet, is running for re-election and has served since 2010. She is also a former Brooklet City Council member and former Bulloch County Commissioner.
Statesboro resident Marc Silver is the Democrat challenging Tankersley. He is a full-time student at Georgia Southern University with a double major and economics and political science. While he has never sought political office before, he serves as the second vice-chair of the Bulloch County Democratic Party.
Voters in parts of South Bryan will also see two names on the ballot for House District 164. The incumbent, Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, has served for 15 years in the state House and is also a former Garden City Council member.
Richmond Hill resident Lauren Craddock, Democrat, is also running for House District 164. She is a military veteran, a student and currently an IT specialist at Fort Stewart. While she has never sought office before, she cites being involved with the community as one reason she wants to serve at the state level.
Early voting is under way from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday through Nov. 2 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Voter Registration Office in Pembroke and the County Administrative Complex in Richmond Hill.
For more information about voting, call the Voter Registration Office at 653-3859.
The candidates’ surveys are as follows:

Lauren Craddock   
House District 164
Age: 23
Contact:  P.O. Box 118 Richmond Hill, Ga. 31419.
Family: Karl Thompson, fiancé in U.S. Army.
Work experience: U.S. Navy, IT at the Pentagon and Fort Lee. Currently working at Fort Stewart as an IT specialist.
Education background: High school, currently attending college.
Have you ever sought public office before? If so, when and for what position?: No
Why are you running for office?:  I care about the community and the citizens. I could talk all day about what I want and what I want to do for the community, but the other side of the coin is I need to keep my ears open to what the citizens want and need, and I feel that I’m the only candidate that cares enough to ask.

Ron Stephens
House District 164
Contact: 45 Cove Dr., Savannah, Ga., 31416.
Family: Wife, Janice; children, Karen and Ashlin; grandchildren, Walker and Ivey.
Work experience: Pharmacist and member of several boards.
Education background: Armstrong Atlantic State University Pre-Pharmacy; Mercer University Pharmacy School, BS.
Civic activities: Lions Club.
Political experience: City Council, Garden City; 15  years in Georgia House.
Why are you running for office?: To finish tax reform and make a better state for my children and grandchildren.

Jan Tankersley
House District 160
Age: 64
Contact: P.O. Box 187, Brooklet Ga. 30334; (912) 842-5512;
Family: Jan and her husband, Hughie, have two children, a daughter and son-in-law and grandson in Alpharetta, and a son and daughter-in-law and a granddaughter and grandson from Warner Robins. The daughter and son, as well as both of their spouses, all graduated from Georgia Southern University. Jan and Hughie worship at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Statesboro.
Work experience: Jan was employed for about 10 years by Willingway Hospital, where she served as the business office manager and later promoted to director of aftercare. She resigned to be with her children and later returned in a part-time position to write policies and procedures and design forms to document the hospital’s compliance with the Joint Commission Accreditation Hospital Organization’s standards for best practices.
Education background: Achieved accredited medical records technician by completing a two-year course offered by the American Medical Records Association and passing the National Accreditation Exam at Augusta State College in 1974. Attended Georgia Southern University. Completed 96 continuing education hours from the Carl Vincent Institute of Government through the University of Georgia, as well as a two-day Leadership Institute for the CCAP designation.
Civic activities: Served as president of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia in 2009-2012; named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend Magazine in 2010; member of the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce, North Bryan Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Statesboro Kiwanis Club and Ogeechee Technical College Foundation Board; ex-officio member of the Board of Education Public School Foundation; and the Bulloch County Republican Party.
Political experience: Jan served on the Brooklet City Council for one four-year term, elected for a second term. She was elected to serve for three terms on the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners. She was elected to the State House of Representatives in 2010 where she serves on the Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, Natural Resources & the Environment, and the Intergovernmental Coordination Committees.

Marc Silver
House District 160

Age: 21
Contact: 130 Lanier Drive Apt. 214 Statesboro, Ga. 30458.
Family: Parents, Steve and Nancy Silver; siblings, Paul and Daniel Silver
Work experience: Former D.C. intern for Congressman Sanford Bishop; full-time student.
Education background: Economics and political science double major at Georgia Southern University.
Civic activities: President of Hillel at Georgia Southern, president of the Young Democrats of Georgia Southern, second vice-chair of the Bulloch County Democratic Party.
Political experience: Volunteer for Thurbert Baker for Governor 2010, former D.C. intern for Congressman Sanford Bishop, president of Young Democrats of Georgia Southern, second vice-chair of the Bulloch County Democratic Party.
Have you ever sought public office before? This is my first time seeking public office.
Why are you running for office?: I have lived in this state all of my life. I feel it is time for a change in this state. I feel it is time for a new beginning to bring about a better tomorrow. Our state can do better. Our district can be better. A brighter future begins with a change in leadership and I believe I can offer that leadership.
This new leadership is needed to change the course our state has become accustomed to. I promise to improve our educational system, fight for the HOPE Scholarship program, reduce the level of corruption in our state and improve our economic vitality. I ask you to look into my proposals and plans on my website ( to assess my competency for the job as I believe that a candidate that does not demonstrate themselves on the campaign. A candidate that does not put forth the ideas that they offer to the problems that they face, ultimately lacks the solutions. I do not see this as a political opportunity but as a means to give back to my state that I have known as my home.

Read more about the candidates in the Oct. 24 edition of the News.

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