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Candidates make their pitch at forum
saraf george
George Saraf
ouse District 159 special election
A special election for the state House District 159 seat will be held in parts of Effingham County on Nov. 3. Candidates for the seat are Ann Purcell and Jessie Tyler. Not all precincts will be open. Only the following precincts will be open for the special election:
Precinct    Location
1A Zion Lutheran Social Hall    121 Noel C. Conaway Rd.
1B Powers Baptist Church    1104 Highway 80 W.  
1C Meldrim Baptist Church    229 Ohoopee Ave.
1D Faulkville Baptist Church    144 Zeigler Rd.
1E Church of Christ    1952 Noel C. Conaway Rd.
2B Pineora Baptist Church    131 Elkins St.               
2C Grace Community Church    1094 Goshen Rd.
2D Goshen Road Baptist Church    1323 Goshen Rd.
4B Rincon Church of God    3430 Highway 21 S.
Family Life Center
5A United Way    711 Zitterour Rd.
5B Rincon Baptist Temple    305 Wisenbaker Rd.
5C First Christian Church    5835 Highway 21 S.
5D St. Luke’s Episcopal Church    155 Goshen Rd.
Precinct 2B has voters in both House Districts 157 and 159, so not all voters registered to vote in 2B will be included in this election.
Early and advance voting will be held at the registrars office during regularly scheduled office hours,  (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday). The office is at 284 Highway 119 South, Springfield. For information, call 754-8030.   
Voters can determine if they are included in this special election by accessing the SOS Web site at or the Effingham County Web site at On the SOS Web site, they will select the Poll Locator box on the right side of the screen.  
Then, they will be prompted to enter the initial of their first name, their last name and their birth date. On the Effingham County Web site, select Voting in Effingham or under the Department tabs, select Elections and Registration.  On the Web page, you can access the Poll Locator link.  Other information for this election is also listed on the Web page.
If possible, please show a sample ballot or give the voters information on how they can obtain a sample ballot. A sample ballot can be viewed on the Poll Locator link. Sample ballots also are available in the registrars office.
 A polling location for a precinct has changed. Precinct 5A is now located at the United Way Building at 711 Zitterour Road, Rincon, instead of the Lions Club Building at 1002 Lexington Ave., Rincon.
Voters who are registered to vote in the Rincon municipal election must also vote at their city precinct on Nov. 3. The precincts listed above are for the House District 159 Special Election only.
City of Springfield will not be included in this special election for the House District 159.

With less than two weeks until municipal elections and a special vote for a state House seat are held, candidates made a pitch for their bids at the Effingham Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast.

Polls will be open Nov. 3 for races in Rincon and Springfield and for the state House District 159 seat. The two races for Guyton’s city council are uncontested.

Rincon Mayor Ken Lee, seeking a second term in office, said he was proud of what the city has done in his four years.

“I’m real pleased with the things we’ve been able to accomplish,” he said. “The thing that I see is how much more we have to do, how much more we want to do. I’m just proud of the accomplishments, and I desire to be able to do more.”

Lee said it would be easy to let himself think that elected office is a thankless job.

“I believe to feel otherwise. You come under a lot of criticism, and it’s easy to get your feelings hurt if you allow that to happen,” he said. “There are also people who recognize the good that you do. Time and time again, God places people in my path who encourage me and recognize the good things we do, and I’m thankful for that.”

Former Rincon mayor and city council member George Saraf is running against Lee. Saraf said he enjoyed his previous tenure on council, which lasted 17 and a half years.

“I’m retired, and I have time to take care of business,” he said.

Saraf also joked he couldn’t "stand to see Ken Lee running unopposed.”

Ann Purcell, a former state lawmaker running for Buddy Carter’s vacated state House seat, said that while she has not been an elected representative, she has been serving the county as a member of the state Technical College System board.

Savannah Technical College’s Effingham campus, which Purcell pushed for, is flourishing to the point that trailers have been brought in to handle the demand, she said.

“All levels of education are very important,” she said, “whether it be preschool, kindergarten, working with our board of education, working with our faculty, that’s how we know what our needs are and what are students’ demands can be.”

Purcell noted how the state has cut its spending to go with a 16 percent drop in revenue.

“This is a dire need for revenue, and it’s not coming in,” she said.

The Technical College System staggered a state-mandated three-day furlough and allowed the schools’ presidents to see what was best for their facilities and adjust for their campuses.

All TCG employees took one furlough day and a second day was mandated for employees with a higher salary, keeping the lower-salaried employees at work, Purcell said. For the third furlough day, it was put into effect for the highest-salaried levels.

Purcell said there are opportunities for communities to work together on infrastructure such as roads and water and sewer.

“This is not an I’ or a ‘me’ situation — this is a ‘we’ situation,” she said.

Purcell also implored voters to go to the polls and not to wait until the Nov. 3 election date. Early voting is ongoing and will close Oct. 30.
Purcell’s opponent, Jessie Tyler of Rincon, did not attend the forum.

Jeff Northway, one of two candidates for the mayor’s seat in Springfield, said he wants to continue to improve the quality of life for the town’s residents. Northway and Wanda Laning are competing for the seat being vacated by Barton Alderman.

“I just hope I can do as a good job as Mr. Barty has done,” Northway said. “He’s done a wonderful job. I’m going to try to do as good a job as I can for the citizens of Springfield.”

Laning was not present at the forum.