Qualifying for the City of Statesboro’s Municipal General Election ended on Friday, August 20. On the ballot in the November 2 election are the offices of Mayor and City Council districts 1 and 4.

Leah Harden, the cities Clerk and Election Superintendent, said that no new citizens qualified for city office on Friday. Councilman Phil Boyum, who represents district 4, is the only incumbent that remained unopposed.

The incumbents include Jonathan McCollar, the incumbent Mayor, Phil Boyum, who serves as the district 1 representative, and John Riggs, who serves as the district 4 representative.

In addition for the office of Mayor, Statesboro resident Ernest Larry Lawton qualified on Monday.

In district 4 Kristine (Kris) Yager-Rushton qualified on Monday to challenge incumbent councilman John Riggs.

Since Councilman Phil Boyum remains the only person who qualified in district 1 he will automatically serve another four years.


Office of the Mayor:

Jonathan McCollar, Incumbent

Ernest Larry Lawton


Introducing Ernest Lawton

Ernest Lawton was born in Register, GA. He graduated in 1969 from William James High School. He moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1970 where he worked for General Motors and the U.S. Postal Service. In 1985 Mr. Lawson returned to Statesboro and worked for Franklin Chevrolet, Joseph Home for Boys, H.K. Porter Wiss and Brannen Mill Works.

In 1989 he founded the Tri-County Ministries of Jesus Christ, a non-profit organization. In the same year he became the associate pastor of Little Bethel Baptist Church.

In 1994 Mr. Lawson founded Spirit Filled Baptist Church. He and his wife opened Golden Rule Day Care. He graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, with an emphasis in Psychology and a minor in black history.

In 2007 he and his wife established Hallelujah Transportation, LLC which is a trucking company that transports containers out of the port of Savannah.

When asked by Grice Connect about his reasons for running for Mayor Ernest Lawson responded:

“I have seven goals that I want to accomplish which are:

  1. Public Safety
  2. Youth Development
  3. Senior Citizen Care
  4. Business Expansion
  5. Veteran Support
  6. Aid the Homeless
  7. Home Ownership”

City Council District 1:

Phil Boyum, Incumbent


City Council District 4:

John Riggs, Incumbent

Kristine (Kris) Yager-Rushton


Introducing Kris Yager-Rushton

Kris Yager-Rushton is a 13 year resident of Statesboro.  She is employed by Georgia Southern University in Advancement Services.

In her role at GS she is a prospect researcher for development. For fun she teaches a spin/cycle class at the Recreation and Activities Center on the Statesboro campus.

She is married to Edward who is tenured faculty and teaches graphic design in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art.

They have two rescued Bulloch County kitties named Caleb and Piper.

Kris and Edward enjoy are biking, camping, hiking and traveling. Kris also loves to cook. 

One unique thing about Kris is that she is a transplant recipient. Because of this she has fundraised for Donate Life Georgia and Lifelink, the procurement agency for Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico. 

Kris was even featured in the 2015 The Faces of Transplantation calendar and has been a featured speaker for Donate Life Georgia/Lifelink of Georgia on their Donor Remembrance ceremonies. 

Kris and Edward are supporters of the Averitt Center for the Arts and enjoy viewing many of their shows and gallery exhibitions. 

She is also a past board member of the Statesboro Farmers Market as well as a past board member of the University’s Staff Council.  

When asked by Grice Connect aout her reasons for running for City Council Kris Yager-Rushton responded:

“I would like to see Statesboro grow into an even better and more sustainable community.  It’s been a delight living here and some good changes have happened, but we still have some work to be done. I would like to see more sidewalks, bike lanes, and improved accessibility between our downtown and campus.  Both downtown and campus have many things to offer the other and our community is richer because of them both,” said Kris Yager-Rushton.

“I also care about new development in Statesboro.  Green spaces are needed now more than ever before as they help to enrich our neighborhoods and our community as a whole.  I chose to live in the city so that both my husband and I could easily get to work, shop locally, and lead a life enriched by strong community ties. I love Statesboro and am eager to represent the citizens of District 4.”

DeWayne Grice

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...