Getting to know the Statesboro mayoral candidates

Tannis Kufner

[slideshow_deploy id=’11917′]Campaigning ends as the Statesboro mayoral election begins with citizens looking toward candidates Jonathan McCollar, Bill Thomas, Jan Moore and incumbent Mayor Joe Brannen as potential mayors.

The candidates each hold different views on the next step for Statesboro, but together agree on opportunities for growth in the community.

McCollar, community manager for the American Cancer Society, defines his campaign as one that promotes people over politics.

“It is time for leadership with a vision for all,” McCollar said.

McCollar himself graduated from GSU, and the bulk of McCollar’s campaign volunteers have been students.

“The same classroom you sat in are the ones I got my degree in too,” McCollar said. “The woman who raised me retired from GSU so she could raise me, so GSU is truly at the heart of my foundation.”

If elected, McCollar plans to establish a council between GSU students and Statesboro community members to create open communication between the two groups.

In addition, McCollar intends on growing the tax base, increasing the number of jobs and investing in the young people within the city.

“It is time to move people from their couches to the work force,” McCollar said.

Another candidate interested in focusing on the tax base and providing equality is Thomas, owner of Big Bad Wolf Catering, member of Statesboro’s City Council for four years and a self-proclaimed “little guy” in the mayoral race.

“I stand for the city of Statesboro and for the little people within the city,” Thomas said.

Thomas’ campaign focuses on city policy and increasing fairness in governmental operations.

“We need to provide good jobs for our people,” Thomas said. “The only thing I can do is provide a clear voice in the leadership.”

Along with McCollar and Thomas, Moore is the third candidate running against Mayor Brannen.

Moore works for the Statesboro Herald as its business editor and a behavior intervention psychologist for the Bulloch County Board of Education.

One of Moore’s platforms is the importance of revitalizing downtown Statesboro.

“Downtown should look as beautiful as Sweetheart Circle,” Moore said.

Moore, among other candidates, is interested specifically in restoring South Main Street.

Mayor Brannen is running for reelection, and he has been mayor since 2009, according to the Statesboro City Council’s website. His platform focuses on approving policies to strengthen Statesboro.

Mayor Brannen said at the October mayoral debate that some buildings are under contract to bring new life to South Main Street.

Mayor Brannen said, “A mayor’s role is someone who gets things done for the city.”