Chatham County Commission Chairman Pete Liakakis (D) has been a mainstay of the Savannah political scene for decades. He narrowly lost the mayor’s race in 2003 to Otis Johnson, but the next year he was elected to his current post with 58 percent of the vote. He was re-elected in 2008 with 68 percent.
But Liakakis’ dominance in those races was more about personality than party, and it’s entirely possible that a Republican will take the chair this fall. An effort to remove the two-term limit failed miserably last year (65 percent to 35 percent) despite Liakakis’ personal popularity.
All three have political experience — Hair even held the chairmanship from 1997 to 2004. DeLoach held the 7th district seat on the commission from 1993 to 2000. Crawford was mayor pro tem of Tybee Island from 2002 to 2004. All three have solid private sector experience too.
To my surprise, the Savannah Morning News chose not to make an endorsement in the 3-person race, but would seem likely to make an endorsement if there is a runoff. Here’s a quick look at each of the candidates by reporter Eric Curl: Chatham commission chairman, district candidates talk on issues
I don’t have a clear sense of how the primary will shake out, and I haven’t seen any public polling. Al Scott is running unopposed on the Democratic side. Despite an impressive resume of his own, Scott might have benefited from some primary opposition just to heighten his name recognition.
Any Savannah readers out there with more insight into the race than I have?