Qualified Candidate Information

The following candidates have been qualified and are listed alphabetically by last name below.

Qualified Candidates for Mayor

  • Tony Lee Davis
    Name on Ballot: Tony Davis
  • Stephen E. Wall, Jr.
    Name on Ballot: Stevie Wall
  • Karen Lorraine Williams
    Name on Ballot: Karen L. Williams

Qualified Candidates for City Council

  • Wesley Ray Bashlor
    Name on Ballot: Wesley Bashlor
  • Rebecca Cone Benton
    Name on Ballot: Rebecca C. Benton
  • Melanie Shannon Black (incumbent)
    Name on Ballot: Shannon Black
  • Michael Anthony Carpenter
    Name on Ballot: Michael Carpenter
  • Shirlinia Dietrich Daniel (incumbent)
    Name on Ballot: Shirlenia Daniel
  • Aaron Christopher Higgins (incumbent)
    Name on Ballot: Aaron C. Higgins
  • Thomas Hutcherson
    Name on Ballot: Tom Hutcherson
  • David S. Legasse
    Name on Ballot: David “Dave” Legasse
  • Maribeth Lindler
    Name on Ballot: Maribeth Lindler
  • Richard Allan Perry
    Name on Ballot: Richard A. Perry withdrawn
  • John Michael Wilcher (incumbent)
    Name on Ballot: John M. Wilcher
  • Ruthie M. Woodard
    Name on Ballot: Ruthie Woodard

The election will be held on November 7, 2023. Four-year terms of office begin January 1, 2024 and expire December 31, 2027.

The Georgia State Ethics Commission’s (formerly Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission) mission is to protect the integrity of the democratic process and to ensure fair elections. Candidate-submitted documents, including Personal Financial Disclosure Statements, Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports, and Affidavits Not to Exceed, can be found on their website at the Georgia Campaign Finance System. Any additional information candidates have opted to have listed publicly can found on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.

Elections & Running for Office

The next municipal election for the City of Pooler will be held Tuesday, November 7, 2023. There are  seven positions open: one (1) Mayor and six (6) City Councilmembers. These are non-partisan, at-large (city-wide) positions. The City of Pooler has no districts.


In order to qualify for the position of Mayor or Councilmember, a candidate must meet the following:

  • Shall be a citizen of the City of Pooler for 12 months prior to the date of election
  • Shall be a registered voter and qualified to vote in municipal elections of the City
  • Shall continue to reside within the city limits during the period of service
  • Shall not be ineligible for public office pursuant to O.C.G.A. 45-2-1

Four-year terms of office will begin January 1, 2024 and expire on December 31, 2027. City Council meets on the first and third Monday of each month, with two planning retreats held annually. The Mayor may also call special meetings or public hearings as needed. In addition, those elected are required by law to attend and satisfactorily complete a training program for newly elected municipal officials, offered annually in February or March.

Interested candidates should familiarize themselves with the City Charter, City Codes/Ordinances, and the guidelines set forth by the Georgia Government Transparency Campaign Finance Commission. 

Campaign Contributions & Committees

Once a candidate has decided to run, they complete and submit a Declaration of Intention to Accept Campaign Contributions (DOI) form with the City Clerk prior to soliciting/accepting any campaign contributions. This may be done at any time after January 1, 2023 and prior to the Qualifying Period. (The Qualifying Period for 2023 has closed.) Candidates with a Campaign Committee should also file a Registration Form for a Campaign Committee with the State. 

Finance Reporting

Filing a DOI form triggers the obligation to begin filing Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports. The Ethics in Government Act requires public disclosure of campaign financing and significant private interest of public officers and candidates for public office. Elected officials and any candidate seeking elected office in Georgia, or the chairperson or treasurer of their campaign committee, must file campaign contribution disclosure reports. Anyone who has filed a Declaration of Intention must file these reports, even if there has been no financial activity. These forms must be filed with the City Clerk and in compliance with the following filing schedule during an election year: January 31, April 30, June 30, September 30, October 25, and December 31. (Candidates who plan not to exceed $2,500 in contributions or expenditures will need to complete an affidavit stating such.)

Qualifying Period

To officially be considered a Candidate for Municipal Office, one must qualify for the office by submitting a Notice of Candidacy form to the City Clerk during the Qualifying Period. That period for the 2023 election was in the Office of the City Clerk, Pooler City Hall, 100 US Highway 80 SW, Pooler, GA 31322 from Monday, August 21, 2023 through Friday, August 25, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Candidates must bring a valid photo ID and all of the appropriate documentation. Qualifying Packets containing forms, resources, and other information were available in both paper and digital formats in the office of the City Clerk beginning August 1, 2023.

Qualifying Fee

A Qualifying Fee (3% of current salary) must be paid in order to participate in the Qualifying Period. For the 2023 municipal election, this fee was $432.00 for the office of Mayor and $216.00 for the office of Councilmember. If unable to pay, a candidate may submit a pauper’s affidavit and qualifying petition.


The City of Pooler contracts with the Chatham County Board of Elections to conduct our municipal elections. You may contact their office, as well as the Chatham County Board of Registrars (Voter Registration Office), for additional election information and Secretary of State’s Office for a registered voters list.

Post Election

All candidates, whether you are successful or unsuccessful, must file a final Campaign Contribution Disclosure Form with the City Clerk’s office by December 31, 2023.