(SAVANNAH) The man who will fill the unexpired term as the 162nd District State Representative plans to make the most of the eight months left in that term. Reverend Carl Gilliard, Pastor of the Family Life Center in Garden City and Founder of Feed the Hungry, Inc., took nearly 75 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s run off election against Alicia Blakely. Voters backed Gilliard to finish out the term for the late Bob Bryant, who passed away in February.
Nearly two hundred of Gilliard’s supporters come together on Augusta Avenue in Savannah after the win. The legislature is out of session. So, he’ll use his time to run again in the May primary and prepare a group of constituents to serve as advisors. ” One of the things I campaigned about is a legislative council that I was gonna create, the 162nd Legislative council. That council will be comprised of twelve people in the district that will be my eyes and ears so that we can get some things going in the district.” Bryant said, adding, “”As we process to go to January, ah, for a full session of two years, I’ll have those people in place so I’ll be able to be very responsive to their needs.” said Gilliard.
The first term lawmaker says he wants to avoid the headline grabbing issues and get to work on what has the greatest impact on the most people. “I’ll be the person that will regulate them back to the issue of poverty, the issue of economics in reference to the widening of the ports. I’ll be the person to redirect them to the issues.” he said. Gilliard says he knows he still has another campaign in front of him before he can actually use the information gathered by his proposed council. He has to win the primary in may to insure a longer stay in Atlanta. “” The race is not given to the swift, but it’s given to the one that will endure…I will endure.” said Gilliard. His supporters are hoping Gilliard’s term endures beyond the end of the year.
To serve a full term, Gilliard has to run again in November and he’ll face familiar opponents in the May 24th democratic primary. Alicia Blakely and businessman Josey Sheppard, both say their names will be on the May ballot. However, there is no republicans on the ballot so the winner of the democratic primary wins the seat and will run unopposed in November.