RINCON — Challenger Lynn Anderson and incumbent Robert Grant haven't reached the finish line in their race for a seat on the Effingham County Board of Education.
Grant edged Anderson 442-420 in the May 22 primary but that was not enough to clinch the District 1 post. Nancy Floyd, despite stating several weeks ago that she couldn't serve because of health concerns, garnered 158 votes, leaving Grant about seven percentage points of the 50 he needed to avoid a July 24 runoff.
The District 4 race was settled in the primary as incumbent Beth Helmly defeated Ben Johnson 620-330.
Anderson said watching last week's election results come in was "traumatic."
"It was," she said with a hearty laugh. "This is the first time I've ever done anything that was voted on. My work in the past with any kids has been through our church and in the area so somebody was glad that you wanted the job. It wasn't like you had to be elected to it.
"It was traumatic — the waiting, waiting and waiting. I was biting my fingernails."
Right after the election, Anderson was notfied that she has Floyd's support in the runoff.
"I'm hoping that works in my favor," Anderson said. "Nancy has reached out to me and talked to me a little bit. She put something out on Facebook about how she has known me for a while and that I would do a good job so I am in hopes that people who supported her will support me."
When contacted by the Herald about her Facebook endorsement, Floyd, who didn't submit the required affadavit to Elections Supervisior Olivia Morgan to officially end her campaign, said via text, "Yes, I'm supporting her. I'm out of town but I've known her for 25 years plus. She is a hard worker, supports the schools always.
"We worked together in all aspects."
Floyd, who has worked in Effingham County schools as a paraprofessional and headed a PTA and booster club, has offered to actively campaign for Anderson.
Anderson, the mother of two adult children and a nine year old, said she and Floyd believe it is important that their district is represented by a longtime resident or native of Effingham County. They graduated from Effingham County High School.
"I see that we get a lot of people moving into our county who really didn't grow up with us and they don't know what it felt like to go to that school and have those values that we went to school with," Anderson said.
Grant, seeking his second four-year term, counters that new ideas and innovative ways of thinking are vital if the school board is to keep up with the county's explosive growth and changing needs.
"The school system has gained a thousand students since I've been on the board and there are about 10,000 more people in the county," he said.
Grant also noted that the school system ranks among Georgia's best academically and financially.
Anderson and Grant expressed an eagerness to serve despite the time demands of the job.
"I work best with goals that I have to accomplish," Anderson said.
Grant made it clear he will continue to accessible to his constituents.
He said, "I tell people all the time, 'If you have a problem, if you don't tell me about it, I most likely won't know about it.' I invite stakeholders to know that the lines of communication are always open."
See the May 30 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.