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Goldwire, Kessler vying for at-large chairman
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After weeks on the campaign trail, Democrat Franklin Goldwire and Republican Wendall Kessler are both cautiously optimistic about their chances of being elected the Effingham County Board of Commissioners’ at-large chairman in Tuesday’s general election.

Goldwire, a retired educator and military veteran, has been mixing old-fashioned door-to-door interaction with a campaign Web site, Facebook page and Twitter account.

“Just wherever I have an opportunity to share the Goldwire campaign, I’ve been doing just that,” he said. “The campaign is going great. We’re just excited, and hopefully that excitement will translate into a victory.”

Kessler, a home builder and real estate developer, said he too has been “knocking on doors” while also sending out mailers and campaigning “wherever I was invited” to go.

“If a third of the people who told me they already voted for me actually did, I think that’s more than the registered voters list. I take some of that with a grain of salt,” Kessler said. “I still have a very positive outlook on it. I feel good about what I think I can accomplish.”

Goldwire and Kessler are no strangers to one another, as they currently serve together on the Effingham County Board of Tax Equalization. Kessler described Goldwire as a “good man, but I think I have a better plan.”

Kessler said he wants to reduce the county’s debt and create harmony on county commission. Another of his top priorities would be to work with state and federal agencies to return transportation funding that has been taken from Georgia during the Obama administration.

“I think that I have a plan to get some of our transportation problems solved and, in doing so, we will also be getting rid of some of our debt,” Kessler said. “This has to do with the state, the Ports Authority and the federal government, and it’s a lot of things to get put together. But I have been in contact with people who are already in there and people who have been elected and will start, and I think all of this can come together.”

Goldwire said that voters have told him “they want a chairman who is going to listen to their concerns and include their concerns into the operation of the county.” He pledged to work to make county operations more efficient and restore the public’s faith in their county government.

“They’re concerned about the county and municipalities working honestly together toward a goal, and that is to keep Effingham County a great place to live and raise a family,” Goldwire said. “They’re concerned about paying off the county debt, and of course they would like to see a resolution to the water and sewer issues without increasing the tax burden on the citizens. That will come through collaborating and working with the city governments.”