Qualifying closed Wednesday at 4.30 p.m. for the City of Social Circle municipal elections as well as the seats up on the Board of Education with mixed results.
Incumbent Mayor David Keener and District 2 Councilman Tyson Jackson qualified unopposed in their re-election bids.
District 4 incumbent Councilman Joseph ‘Steve’ Shelton also qualified in his re-election bid, but he does have a challenger. John Griffin Miller qualified for a chance to unseat Shelton and win the District 4 seat.
After the recent upheaval on the Social Circle Board of Education with the resignation of the former chairman John Callahan and District 4 BOE member Steve Trantham, those two seats were up for qualifying. Callahan and Trantham both resigned in protest of a land deal decision that the SCBOE had entered into with the City of Social Circle for the building of a new school.
As a result, the SCBOE appointed Taylor Morris for board chair and Maggie Bonnell for District 4 during its regular monthly meeting earlier this month. Both were appointed to serve until December 31 with voters getting the opportunity to weigh in who will fill the seat on Nov. 7. The winner of the chairman election will serve the remaining two years in the term that began in 2021, and the District 4 winner will begin a new four-year term following the election. Both appointees qualified to run for the new term for their seat that begin next year and both face challenges for the seat. Morris faces a challenge from David Beard for the board chair and Bonnell faces a challenge from Kasey Cronan and John Gardner for the District 4 seat.
Amber McKibben was nominated earlier in the year to serve out the remaining term of former District 1 board member Michael O’Connor who resigned due to ongoing health concerns. She too has qualified to run for a full term beginning next year and also faces a challenger. Beth Brewer has also qualified to run for the District 1 seat.
The municipal elections will be held on Nov. 7, 2023. Advanced voting runs from Oct. 16 to Nov. 3 with Saturday voting on Oct. 21 and 28. You have to be a city resident to vote in the municipal elections.
The full line up of qualifiers for Social Circle are:
Social Circle City Council
David Keener (i) – Mayor
Ty Jackson (i)
John Griffin Miller
Joseph ‘Steve’ Shelton (i)
Social Circle Board of Education
Taylor Morris (i)
Amber McKibben (i)
Maggie Bonnell (i)