Candidates running for Post 1 Alderman At-Large face off in debate

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:43 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The seven candidates vying to be Savannah’s next Post 1 Alderman At-Large faced off in a debate Thursday afternoon.

This is the most crowded race in Savannah’s municipal elections.

Seven people are looking to fill the seat currently held by Kesha Gibson-Carter who is now running for mayor.

The field includes a mix of newcomers to city council and some who have held a seat before.

On a crowded debate stage, candidates gave their thoughts on a wide range of randomly selected topics including crime...

“Education instead of incarceration is the answer to our recidivism,” said Curtis Singleton, Post 1 At-Large Candidate.


“We need to look at TSPLOST and examine the viability of streetcars and light rail,” said Tony Thomas, Post 1 At-Large Candidate.

...and historic preservation.

“...and make sure that the growth and development doesn’t taint and take anything away from what we have achieved,” said Carolyn Bell, Post 1 At-Large Candidate.

The debate was hosted in part by the Tourism Leadership Council.

Several topics centered on economic development and the potential impacts to some current city residents.

“The best way to mitigate gentrification is to give housing to the people coming in so those that are here are not displaced. Or if they are displaced, hopefully they have somewhere close by they can go,” said Jason Leslie Combs, Post 1 At-Large Candidate.

“Residents in low...poverty areas are feeling like they’re being pushed out of their homes,” said Roshida Edwards, Post 1 At-Large Candidate.

“They are moving us out,” said Clinton Young, Post 1 At-Large Candidate.

Candidate Carol Bell is looking to be elected to the Post 1 spot again after serving two-terms in the role until 2019.

Controversial candidate Tony Thomas is hoping for a political comeback.

He served Savannah’s Southside on council for two decades but lost reelection amid a slew of legal battles.

Candidates now delivering their pitch to voters with Election Day just 47 days away.

“We need to ensure the streets are fixed, that they have adequate medical, and eliminate food deserts,” said Marc Anthony Smith, Post 1 At-Large Candidate.

Early voting for Savannah’s municipal election starts October 16th.

Election Day is November 7th.