Political newcomers square off for Bulloch clerk seat - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Political newcomers square off for Bulloch clerk seat

Heather Banks McNeal Heather Banks McNeal
Alvie Coes Alvie Coes

Heather Banks McNeal and Alvie Coes III approach the election for clerk of court from different perspectives.

"I spent 16 years working in the court system," said McNeal. "And the past four years, I've been in human resources for the Board of Commissioners.

"I come from a management background," said Coes. "I've done budgets, worked with non-profit groups and I've done human resources where you're working with people."

Neither has held office before.

Bulloch County voters will choose a new clerk at an unusual time. First, the non-partisan election coincide with the May 20 primaries instead of November's general election. Second, the special election comes two years earlier than normal.

Last year, Clerk of Court Teresa Tucker stepped down after a GBI investigation found financial problems in the office, such as staff members cashing personal checks through a petty cash drawer.

Both candidates said they've communicated with interim clerk Charles Sikes, who has managed the department since the departure of Tucker. However, both had ways they would further restore public confidence in the office.

"I would to bring even more transparency to the office," said Coes. "I would want to work more with the county commissioners, as well as the municipalities."

"Through this campaign, I've met a lot of people who don't know what the clerk does or how the office works," Banks stated. "I would want to get together with civic groups and other places to help people know more about it."

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