SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Three candidates vying for Savannah’s top elected job squared off Thursday in a mayoral debate sponsored by the NAACP Savannah Branch.
Incumbent Eddie Deloached asked the crowd for four more years. “And I’m running for Mayor based on the record we’ve had for the last four years. I ask you tonight to give me an opportunity to serve four more years.”
Deloach said he wants to move forward and build on the record he already has of job creation, development and a safer Savannah.
Longtime Alderman Van Johnson from the 1st district is challenging Deloach, “I believe in Savannah, I believe in the promise of Savannah and I am certainly a product of that,” said Johnson.
Johnson said while he has no personal animosity with Deloach, he doesn’t believe that everyone in the Hostess City, especially the low income, have done that well in the past four years in terms of employment and especially affordable housing. “There’s a party going on in Savannah, you’re paying for it but not everybody is invited,” said Johnson. “I just think I could invite more people.”
Former state senator Regina Thomas said she is a better fit than either Deloach or Johnson who have had their turn. “My platform is fiscal responsibility, transparency and inclusion,” she said.
All three candidates were asked about a search for a new manager. Both Deloach and Johnson said past search processes have definitely included input from the public. Thomas insisted that even more information from citizens should be sought before and during the search process. In terms of hiring someone, she said that “we need someone that if they’re not from here that they’re going to invest in Savannah, not just looking to add to their resume.”