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Kessler to face Goldwire in the fall
primary 1
County commission District 1 candidate Solomon Smith, at-large chairman candidate Charlie Kea and at-large chairman candidate Wendall Kessler watch the returns Tuesday night. Also watching are District 3 Commissioner Steve Mason and Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

The campaign for the Effingham County commission at-large chairman is set, after Wendall Kessler captured the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s primary.

Kessler, a homebuilder, beat fellow builder Charlie Kea with more than 67 percent of the vote. He will oppose Dr. Franklin Goldwire, who faced no opposition in the Democratic primary, in November’s general election.

“I am looking forward to a good race with Dr. Goldwire,” Kessler said. “He’s a fine gentleman. I look forward to the election in November. I hope to work with a good board for the betterment of Effingham County.”

Kessler, who serves on the county’s board of equalization, had not run for office previously. Kea likewise was a political neophyte, though he was a driving force in the push for liquor by the drink sales in the county.

“We’ll stay active,” said Kea. “The county needs a lot of help. There are a lot of issues people aren’t on informed on yet.”

Kea campaigned on rolling back property taxes and expanding the tax base. Kessler ran on a zero-based budget and on promoting a more harmonious board of commissioners.

“I’m the only one who put it out there where he stood,” Kea said.

Kessler believes his roots in the county gave him an advantage over Kea.

“Mr. Kea is a good man,” Kessler said. “I’ve been involved in a number of things. I think my name is more recognizable.”