Four candidates for contested offices turned out, as did two candidates who won their primaries and are now unopposed, for Tuesday's political forum in Pembroke. But only 26 people, including the six candidates, attended the event hosted by the North Bryan Chamber of Commerce.
Each candidate was given five minutes to speak. The only race represented by more than a single candidate was for the District 1 seat on the Bryan County Board of Commissioners. Both the Republican challenger, Noah Covington, and the independent challenger, Rufus “Ed” Bacon, attended, but the Democratic incumbent, Commissioner Joe Kendrick, did not.
Bacon and Covington both identified a developer’s efforts to build a commercial landfill as the most pressing issue facing the district and expressed agreement in opposing the landfill. Both also agreed that securing a fair share of SPLOST projects for the northern part of the county is another hot topic and criticized the way SPLOST has been allocated under the current board.
Marc Silver, Democratic challenger for state representative in House District 160, attended and talked about the threat from continued dumping in the Ogeechee River, among other issues. But Rep. Jan Tankersley, the Republican incumbent, did not attend, sending her regrets involving a prior commitment to the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair in Statesboro.
State Rep. Ron Stephens, Republican incumbent in State House District 164, attended and spoke. But his Democratic challenger, Lauren Craddock, did not.
Neither U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, nor his Democratic challenger, Lesli Messinger, attended. Kingston cited a speaking engagement in Camden County, while a campaign associate for Messinger emailed regrets of a prior obligation.
Bryan County Clerk of Court Rebecca Crowe and Sheriff Clyde Smith, both unopposed in the general election, spoke briefly expressing thanks for being re-elected in the July primary.
For more from the forum, see the Oct. 20 edition of the Bryan County News.