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Commission candidates speak out at forum

7/27/2012

By GORDON JACKSON
The Brunswick News

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.

Candidates gathered at First United Methodist Church in Brunswick to explain their position on issues in a quest for their party's nomination.

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.

Two Republicans, Clifford Adams and Michael Browning, face each other for the District 1 seat held by incumbent Republican Amy Callaway, who is not seeking a second term in office.

The District 2 seat only has one candidate, Republican Dale Provenzano. He will replace incumbent Republican Tom Sublett, who decided not to seek a second term in office.

Coleman said his four years as a commissioner will be an important asset for the county during the next four years. He said he asked fellow commissioners to control spending by not replacing more than 20 vehicles that are still running.

Crosby-Deloach said she believes too much is being spent on the construction of a new county jail and would look closely at the project.

Terris said his prior military experience gives him leadership skills that will help him as a commissioner. He said all county assets need to be looked at to determine if they are necessary.

Adams said the county owns a lot of equipment that could be maintained instead of buying replacements. He said the county should look at the old SPLOST lists to determine other ways to cut spending and noted that people are "sick of taxes."

Cook, the only Democrat to attend Thursday's forum, said he would meet with other commissioners to determine what spending is necessary and what can be eliminated.

Hall, who now works for the Jekyll Island Authority, said her former job as a newspaper reporter gives her the background to be a good elected official. Her No. 1 goal is to improve communication between the city and the county.

Tucker said the commission needs some changes, including having an elected official who will be readily available for the people he represents. He said elected officials need to make decisions to stop wasteful spending.

Wells said the most important thing is for elected officials to be good stewards of taxpayer money. She said the shortfall in the budget could have been taken from the county's savings instead of raising taxes.

Candidates Michael Browing, Alan Booker and David Breland did not attend Thursday's forum.

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