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Loper avoids runoff, keeps seat
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One of the Effingham County commission district seats up for election has been decided and voters in one district will make their choice in November.

District 4 incumbent Reggie Loper captured more than 60 percent of the vote in a three-way race, winning election to a third term over Springfield businessman Jamey Stancell and businessman Steve Collins.

“I went door-to-door the last two months,” Loper said. “That’s rough on an old fella, but I made it. It paid off.”

Loper said he was surprised and also not surprised that he avoided a runoff in a three-way race.

“My record ought to stand for a little bit,” he said. “Going door-to-door and meeting people helped some. A lot of people asked a good many questions. They asked about taxes, and I told them we were trying to balance the budget without having to raise taxes, which we did. They liked that a lot.”

Loper did not face any opposition in his last re-election bid, and he said he decided that if he was going to run for re-election, he didn’t want any regrets on how hard he hit the trail.

“I was going to go all the way,” he said. “I did everything I could do. Instead of spending money on ads, I was meeting people one-on-one and that makes a lot of difference, especially with the people who didn’t know me.”

The district also stretches from the Savannah River to Highway 17 and Highway 119 to Blandford Road, taking in parts of all three cities, Loper pointed out.

Stancell, who finished second in the District 4 voting, said he was proud of the campaign he ran in his political venture.

“I brought the topics that needed to be discussed to the forefront,” he said. “I’ve knocked on doors. I’ve listened to people. This was not an anti-Reggie campaign. This was a campaign to move Effingham County forward.”

Stancell also commended Commissioner Loper on his effort to win re-election.

“I think Reggie ran a good campaign,” he said. “It was straight-forward.”

Forrest Floyd received more than 60 percent of the votes in the Republican primary for the District 1 seat, beating opponent Solomon Smith for the spot to face Democratic incumbent Bob Brantley. Brantley faced no opposition in his primary.

“We were excited about the turnout,” Floyd said.

Floyd is taking a few days off from campaigning before returning to the trail in advance of the November election.

“The thing that impressed me the most was people appreciated the fact I was going out and knocking on doors and trying to discuss what I wanted to do,” he said. “Many of them said they had lived there for years and they had never had a local politician take the time to come out and show the interest in trying to help District 1.”

Floyd also said he has been in contact with Dianna Wedincamp of the Ogeechee Riverkeeper and wants to meet with her to discuss the Ogeechee River’s plight.

“It affects a lot of people in our district,” he said. “That is going to be one of my main issues. People are pretty upset about it and we haven’t seen anything on the part of our county to do something about it or get involved with it. I think some attention needs to be focused on it.”