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May 24 - Al Scott wins re-election, garnering almost 66% of the votes cast


By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

May 24, 2016 – Al Scott, Chairman of the Chatham County Commissioners, was re-elected easily in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary election, defeating challenger Tony Center by 5,546 votes, garnering 65.9% of the votes cast.  Interestingly, more than 5,000 voters did not make a choice between the two candidates in the race for County Chairmanship.      

Because there is no Republican candidate for the November general election, Scott will serve for a new four-year term starting in January 2017.

Attorney Tony Center, currently District 3 Commissioner who was re-districted out of his seat, challenged Scott, promising “more transparency, more efficiency and more accountability” if elected Chairman.  Center said early on that he did not want to challenge incumbent fellow Democrat and Commissioner James Holmes, representing District 2, who was also re-elected in Tuesday’s results.

The results appear to indicate that the City’s black voter did not reward him for his loyalty to “Coach” James Holmes. 

Center had banked on a portion of the County’ white Republicans taking a Democratic ballot to vote for him in districts where the Commissioners had no competitors, such as Pat Farrell’s district that includes The Landings and most of the county’s islands neighborhoods. 

He was born and educated in Savannah, graduating from Savannah High School in 1967, and is a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia Law School.  He has previously served as chairman of the Chatham County Democratic Committee.

Chairman Scott has had a long political career, having served in both the Georgia House and Senate. When elected to the Georgia Senate, he became the first African-American elected to the Senate from Chatham County. He is currently president of the Savannah Chapter of the NAACP, and has also served on the Georgia Ports Authority Board of Directors.

Governor Zell Miller appointed Scott to the office of Labor Commissioner, making him the first African-American to ever hold a non-judicial Constitutional Office in Georgia.  There were no tax or premium increases to employers during his service as Labor Commissioner.  Working with business, labor leaders, and members of the legislature, Commissioner Scott secured passage of the first major revision to Georgia’s employment security law in its 50-year history.  The revised law treated all employers more fairly and cut red tape – which had been costly and time-consuming, according to his campaign. 

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