Grovetown voters will have only one candidate on their ballots this November in the race to succeed Mayor Dennis Trudeau.
Qualifying for the Nov. 6 race ended Aug. 31 with former City Councilman George James as the only mayoral candidate. Three candidates qualified to fill two at-large council seats, Trudeau said.
After 20 years as mayor, Trudeau said he would not seek another term.
"I think he'll do a great job," he said of James, whose only competition for the job could come from write-in candidates.
"I'm at a loss for words to tell you the truth," James said. "It's the easiest race I've ever been in."
James, who was last elected to a four-year term on the council in 2005, resigned his seat Aug. 27 to run for the city's top job. He also served on the council from 1988 through 1991.
Trudeau defeated James during his previous contested re-election bid in 1999. In 2003, James ran for county commission, losing to Lee Anderson in District 4.
James said he has big shoes to fill replacing Trudeau, and will rely on the outgoing mayor for advice.
"He's been there 20 years. He's done a tremendous job, and I just hope I continue to work the way he's worked in Grovetown, and manage growth," he said.
James said his goals include the redevelopment of blighted areas and carrying out the city's 20-year growth plan.
City Councilman David Daughtry, who had been expected to challenge James to replace Trudeau, instead qualified for re-election. Daughtry, who has served on the council 17 years and is the city's mayor pro tem, said that when James qualified to run, he realized the city would lose leadership experience if either man were defeated.
"This is going to be a real important election for the city of Grovetown, because we have (local option sales tax) negotiations and (special purpose local option sales tax) negotiations and we're still dealing a lot with sewer projects and things like that with the county and the city of Augusta," he said.
Also qualifying for the two at-large council seats are: City Councilman Dick Manion and Robert Len Newman.
Those interested in qualifying to fill James' former seat can do so at city hall Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday.
Applications are in the city clerk's office at 103 Old Wrightsboro Road. A $108 qualification fee is required. The empty seat will also be on the ballot Nov. 6.
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