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Field keeps growing for county commission, school board races

POSTED: March 6, 2014 8:28 p.m.
Photo by Pat Donahue/

Flanked by family and supporters, 3rd District Commissioner Steve Mason announced Tuesday he is seeking re-election. Mason qualified Monday for the May 20 primary.

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The field for the May 20 primary is growing for a number of Effingham County races.

Four people have qualified to run for one of the board of education seats, and there will be at least two contested county commission races.

Former county administrator David Crawley has signed up to run for the county commission District 5 seat, currently held by Phil Kieffer. Kieffer is seeking re-election.

Four people have signed up to run for the school board District 4 seat, which Mose Mock vacated earlier this year. Faith Jaudon, Ben Johnson, Amanda Phillips and Elizabeth Helmly have qualified for the post.

Robert Grant has qualified for the District 1 seat, currently held by Eddie Tomberlin. Tomberlin is not seeking re-election.

Steve Mason, the District 3 county commissioner, will be challenged by Jamie Deloach in the primary. The current county commission candidates have signed up to run in the Republican primary. School board seats are non-partisan.

State court solicitor Mark Lee also has qualified for re-election in the Republican primary.

Mason said he thought about being just a one-term commissioner.

“We were able to get some good things done,” he said. “There are still some things we want to finish.”

Mason said one issue he wants to see completed is the finished development manual, “so we don’t have these problems we’re currently facing with these subdivisions.”

He said what has been eye-opening is the slower process that accompanies action, instead of the quicker train followed by private sector interests.

“One of the things I learned about being on the commission is that it is a slow process, and it’s that way by design so things aren’t done hastily,” he said. “I thought that I knew what was going on. There was a huge discovery period.”

Mason has been a stickler for making sure there are at least two bids for goods and services the county purchases.

“It’s gotten almost humorous to me now — they know I’m fixing to ask why is there only one bid,” he said. “There are very few things in this world there is only provider of.”

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