Candidate forum held for special election in Richmond Hill

Candidate forum held for special election in Richmond Hill

BRYAN COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - Richmond Hill residents got the chance Tuesday night to learn more about the candidates who want to represent them on City Council.

Six candidates are vying for the spot. The special election will be held on March 19.

Tuesday night, WTOC listened in as some of the candidates faced off at a League of Women Voters forum. Instead of seven candidates, it’s now down to six. The City of Richmond Hill confirms Rick Fitzer is dropping out of the race.

Three candidates - Justin McBride, David London, and Darryl Lawrence - spoke at the forum. John Ring and Kristi Cox sent in letters apologizing for their absences. The League of Women Voters said they didn’t hear from the other candidate, Wayne Jackson.

“People in leadership have such an opportunity to shape our future right now. It’s vital that we hear from them and hear their vision for Richmond Hill and where we are going,” said Rena Patton, League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia.

The special election will fill the seat once held by the late mayor pro-tem, Johnny Murphy, who passed away in December.

“He will be hard to replace,” Mayor Russ Carpenter said. “They will learn that. We already know that now.”

Mayor Carpenter says he is impressed.

“We can assume all the candidates in the race are in it for the right reasons because they love Richmond Hill and want to improve our city," he said.

The candidates talked about development, opioid prevention, and city and county partnerships.

“I like helping and serving other people,” London said. “I think this is a great way for me to help and serve my community, and that’s why I am here.”

“This is the place I would like to proactively serve as your city councilmen," Lawrence said. “I will keep my ears open. I will keep the fire that ignited me from the MLK Parade, to serve the people of Richmond Hill.”

“If you’re going to have someone on City Council, I feel like they should be from Richmond Hill,” McBride said. “In closing, if you vote for McBride, you are voting for Richmond Hill.”

If you weren’t able to hear from the candidates Tuesday night, there is still one more forum you can attend. Candidates will meet on March 11 at Richmond Hill High School at 6:30 p.m. If you have a question you’d like them to answer, you can send them to the Richmond Hill Bryan County Chamber of Commerce.

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