With five days to go before Tuesday's primary elections, Glynn County Commission candidates faced each other in a final public forum Thursday at the invitation of the local Republican Party.
In three of the four races, At-Large Post 2, District 1 and District 2, the winner of Tuesday's primary will be the presumptive winner because only Republican candidates chose to run for those seats. It's possible the races with more than two candidates -- At-Large Post 2 and District 5 -- will be determined in a runoff on Aug. 21 since the winner has to earn more than 50 percent of the votes.
The District 5 primary will determine which of three Republican candidates - Anna Hall, Robbie Tucker and Tashawnta Wells - will face the winner of the Democratic Party primary, Allen Booker or Gary Cook. Incumbent Democrat Jerome Clark decided not to seek a fifth term in office.
The Republican and Democratic winners of the District 5 primary will face each other in the Nov. 6 general election.
The other race that might not be determined until a runoff is At-Large Post 2, where incumbent Bob Coleman faces three other Republicans for the nomination - David Breland, Joyce Crosby-Deloach and John Terris.
There are two certainties about the upcoming primary elections: Glynn County will have at least three new county commissioners next year, and the outcome of the District 2 race is basically a formality.
The District 1 and At-Large Post 2 races will also be determined in the July 31 primary election because no Democrats qualified to seek the post.
Two candidates, Republicans Clifford Adams and Michael Browning, will square off for the District 1 post.
Four Republican candidates, incumbent Bob Coleman, David Breland, Joyce Crosby-Deloach and John Terris, will vie for the At-Large Post 2 seat.
The one election that won't be determined until the November elections is the District 5 post, featuring three Republican candidates, Anna Hall, Robbie Tucker and Tashawnta Wells. The winner will face the winner of the Democrat race featuring Allen Booker and Gary Cook.
Michael F. Browning
Residence: Glynn County
In Glynn County: 61
Candidates vying for nominations to the Glynn County Commission in the July 31 primaries say they have alternatives to the contentious negotiations between city and county governments over the division of local sales tax revenue.
Clifford Adams, who is seeking the Republican nomination in District 1 in northern Glynn County, said the city and county need to sit down and negotiate in earnest to reach an agreement.
Michael Browning, another Republican contender in District 1, said the city and county need to negotiate their shares of the tax in a way that benefits a majority of residents. He said the county needs a voice to address issues such as jobs and restore public confidence.
Bob Coleman, incumbent Republican At-large Post 2 commissioner seeking re-election, said communication has been a problem between city and county officials. He said the county needs to consider the city's challenges, while trying to address its own financial problems.
David Breland, one of three challengers to Coleman for the at-large nomination, said the amount of sales tax generated by the city and county should be a factor in the negotiations. He questioned data presented by the city, which also has to take into consideration that the county provides services it doesn't have to provide.
A Glynn County longshoreman has qualified to run as the District 1 representative on the Glynn County Commission.
Adams, who qualified Thursday as a Republican, was in the crowd that opposed SPLOST 6, but he said if managed properly, a 1 cent sales tax could do wonders for the community.
"I think it could be very useful if it's handled right. You just have to limit the number of projects you focus on," Adams said.
Adams spent 28 years working with Georgia Power and another 20 years in construction before he began part-time work with the International Longshoremen's Association Local No. 1863.
He said he has expertise dealing with infrastructure projects.
A Glynn County business owner qualified Wednesday to run for the Post 2 at-large seat on the county commission.
"For years and years and years, I've watched (commissioners) do things and I've wondered, 'Why did they do it this way,'" Terris said. "I decided I would finally get in there and do something about it."
Terris, qualifying as a Republican, said he is entering the political arena with management on his mind and without any set agenda.
"I'm not trying to build a wall on the highway or anything like that," Terris said.
"A lot of politicians get into office saying, 'I'm going to do this, this and this' -- then they realize they can't do any of that. The trick is to do it a little differently."
A St. Simons Island man has announced his intention to represent the island on the Glynn County Commission.
Sublett is not seeking reelection.
Provenzano said his management experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry gives him prioritizing skills that will be useful for the county.
"There seems to be an awful lot of downsizing that needs to take place in the county. Due to my experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry, I've had to deal with that a lot," he said.
This would be Provenzano's first run at political office. He said after living in Glynn County for 22 years, he recently got involved with the local Republican Party and was motivated to enter the political arena.
Jekyll Island Authority media specialist and former Brunswick News reporter Anna Hall announced Tuesday she will run for the city's representative on the Glynn County Commission.
Originally from Gwinnett County, Hall moved to Brunswick in 2007 and left in 2009 to pursue a master's degree. After graduate school, she returned in May 2011.
Hall, who is running as a Republican, said Tuesday she decided to seek office because she has a unique insight into the needs of the city and the county.
Cooperation is one of her key issues.
"The county and the city need to cooperate and communicate more effectively, to look at the bigger picture for the health and happiness of our community," Hall said.
Life-long Brunswick resident Gary Cook says he wants to become the city's representative on the Glynn County Commission.
If elected, Cook said he will be a strong voice for the city on the county commission and bring the two governments closer together.
"That seat is on the county board, but that district is the city. You are a city representative," Cook said. "My main objective is to start off with truly getting a relationship -- not like people talk about. I want more joint meetings between the city and the county."
As both governments have seen a decline in tax revenue, the public has seen a reduction in many services, Cook said. He wants to figure out how they can be brought back in a responsible way.
"We need services and programs down in Selden Park. We've got this multipurpose center down in the city, but there's no shuttle for people to get there." Cook said.
A small business owner has entered the race to become the District 5 representative for the Glynn County Commission.
Tucker, 38, said he decided to step into the political area for the first time so he could serve his city and county.
"As a lifelong resident of Glynn County and small business owner, I have received many benefits from our community and desire, at this time, to give back to our community," Tucker said.
Citing his knowledge of the community and a strong work ethic, Tucker said he would seek to bring transparency and honesty to the commission.
"I have observed the good, bad and ugly in the city and county. I have no specific agenda other than bringing our county to a period of transparency, honesty and integrity," Tucker said. "Job creation, clean industry and establishing a solid tax base will enable our city and county to move forward with good underpinnings."
Long time veterans advocate Mike Browning says he plans to run for the District 1 seat on the Glynn County Commission that will be vacated by Commissioner Amy Callaway at the end of the year.
Browning, chairman of the Golden Isles Veterans Council, said he has lived 60 years in Brunswick and the Golden Isles and his experience will be an asset to the commission.
"I've been involved with different groups and I'm aware of many of the issues affecting this county," Browning said.
Along with veteran and military groups, Browning, who has mainly worked in construction, said he has been involved in advising in vocational programs at the county high schools and in apprenticeship programs for youth.
Chief among Browning's concerns is the county's bottom line.
A second candidate has announced an intention to seek the District 5 Glynn County Commission post to replace Commissioner Jerome Clark.
"I really want to give back to my community. I've been here all my life, and I want to serve," Wells said.
Clark announced last month, as did commissioners Tom Sublett and Amy Callaway, that he would not seek reelection. The four-year terms of the commissioners will expire at the end of December.
Wells, who is set to graduate from Armstrong Atlantic State University with a bachelor's degree in business this fall, was inspired to enter the political arena after visiting the Georgia State Capitol with the Golden Isles Minority Republican Caucus.
Wells, an employee of administrative services for Habitat for Humanity of Glynn County, said a primary focus will be housing in the city. She wants to take down dilapidated houses and work to get more residents on track to becoming home-owners.