The Slater name is no stranger to Stillmore leadership. The town’s current mayor is Regan Slater, and a woman by the name of Marilyn Slater once held the position of mayor before him. Now, another Slater family member is hopeful for a seat at the table. Colleen Slater Duckworth, the late Marilyn Slater’s daughter, has announced her candidacy for council.
Born and raised in Stillmore, she graduated from Emanuel County Institute in 1972. Immediately after graduation, she married a boy she met in Stillmore, Carl Duckworth. The two resided in Swainsboro for a couple years, then work took the couple to Atlanta. The Duckworth spent 46 years in the metro area, and in preparation for retirement, they bought a house in Stillmore back in 2017. On the weekends, they traveled back and forth between the city and the rural area of Emanuel. All the while, she and her husband made it a point to come home for special occasions like the Stillmore Christmas Parade.
In October 2020, the Duckworths moved here permanently to be closer to their roots and their families, both of which either resided in Stillmore or in nearby Metter. Meanwhile, she continued her career, working from home. In December, she retired, culminating a diversified work life. Over the years, Duckworth worked as secretary and a stay-at-home mom. Most of her professional life, however, was spent in construction; from drawing blueprints to meeting with clients to payroll to human resources and managing employees, she did “a little bit of everything” in that field before hanging up her hard hat.
Duckworth says she learned about the upcoming election at a farmers market a few weeks ago and knew immediately she wanted to throw her name in the hat. This will be Duckworth’s first go at public office, and she makes this run with the hopes of following in her mother’s footsteps.
“My family always kidded me and said I’d retire and move back to Stillmore one day,” she explained with a chuckle. “I watched my mom as mayor, and I suppose that had an impression on me. Now that I’m retired and have some spare time on my hands, I’d like to do what she did and serve, help the city out in whatever way I can.”
She describes herself as an “outgoing person” with the communication and people skills to work effectively with citizens, businesses, and fellow city leaders. After seeing many rural towns “dry up,” Duckworth wants to do her part in making sure Stillmore is saved a little longer.
As for what voters can expect out of her campaign, Duckworth says she’ll be doing things the old-fashioned way—going door-to-door, shaking hands, and getting to know the wants and needs of citizens.
Should anyone have questions about her campaign, Duckworth can be reached on her cell at 770-362-7475.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, redesigning the interior of her home, worshipping God at Stillmore Missionary Baptist, and spending time with her family, which includes her three grown children and four grandchildren.
[Editor’s note: Patricia Purcell qualified as a hopeful newcomer to Stillmore City Council but stated to The Chronicle via text message on Monday, September 6, that she was withdrawing from the race. With all newcomer biographies now published, look for incumbent candidate biographies to begin in next week’s edition.]