Statesboro City Council to hold special election in May

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - Statesboro's mayor and council remain at odds over when voters should select a new council member.

The state of Georgia gives cities and counties only a few select dates on which to have regular or special elections. The question became whether Statesboro could hold one as soon as May, or if they had to wait until November.

Longtime councilmember Travis Chance announced that he would resign as he and his family will move outside the city's district five. Councilmembers called for an election in May to coincide with county primaries, but Mayor Jonathan McCollar pointed out statutes could prohibit a race until November. The mayor says he's looking to protect the city from a lawsuit.

"We're now looking at two possible reasons for legal challenge versus one possible challenge that's impossible to avoid in November, and that was the fundamental question," Mayor McCollar said.

Advocates for a May election say the two statutes contradict each other.

"There's a conflict in state law for May," said councilmember Phil Boyum. "There's a conflict in state law for November. Then, you go down to the basic premise - everybody said sooner is better than later."

In the end, council did not call the mayor's motion.

With the council's decision, they'll hold qualifying at the end of March and an election in May.

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