You just heard...respectively...from the men who came in first and second in the race for mayor of Macon-Bibb County.
The final count...close enough to trigger a runoff on October 5th.
Robert Reichert and C.Jack Ellis say they're hitting the ground running again today.
They told Katelyn Heck and Randall Savage... How they plan to win.
Here we go again...It's the fourth time in two years that Reichert and Ellis face off in a campaign.....and their second runoff.
Reichert prevailed in the 2011 mayor's race... But Ellis says he knows how to gain the edge this time.
<of course we're not going to tell everybody how we're going to do that, but our goal is to improve it. If you recall, randall, in 2011 when I ran, we came in with 34% of the vote... And in the runoff we had 49% of the vote. We had a tremendous increase.>
Ellis says he and his supporters are already planning how to rally more voters.
<lizella and subsouth. That's where we have to go, that's where we're going to win. We understand the republican stronghold in north macon.we know we're not going to make any hay there so we're not going to spend our time. We're not going to spend our efforts.>
Reichert's plan.... Recruiting the other mayoral candidates to join his team.
<we're going to use the next four weeks to try to build a stronger coalition of people that can move the community ahead. We're going to take this as an opportunity to try to bring the community together.>
Reichert also says he hopes Tuesday's commission race results will convince more voters to head to the polls in October.
<it begins to dispell some people's fear and apprehension about this being some evil machiavellian plot to disenfranchise folks... Instead it's going to bring about a 'pogo' moment where you say 'that's us, this is good, this is a good thing.' so I just want to be a part of it
The winner will become the first mayor of the new Macon-Bibb consolidated government... and will take office January 1st.
Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News
Joe Allen already agreed to support Reichert.. Charlie Bishop says he refuses to endorse either candidate...because they're both too liberal.
David Cousino says he's not ready to choose sides... And current Bibb Chair Sam Hart could not be reached for comment.
Reichert lead the board last night with 49 percent of the votes... Ellis came in second with 30 percent.
These men are not strangers to the title of Mayor...nor to one another... Their political dance dates back at least 22 years. Randall Savage and Katelyn Heck put this in some perspective for us tonight.
A day after elections...city councilwoman Nancy White is still unhappy about errors at the Bibb County Board of Elections... That caused problems for voters.
Anita Oh talked to White today.
She joins us now from our newsroom.
Well Frank... Even though Election Day is behind us...
Nancy White is still waiting for the Board of Elections to fix those mistakes,
and she doesn't think leaders there are being up front with people about what's gone wrong.
It all started back in August during the first week of early voting for the county election.
White's parents -- who live in District 3 --- were given ballots for District 2.
<we were perplexed because we got a robocall from a candidate that I knew was not in their district, so they decided to do a test. Sure enough, their ballot came out wrong and they insisted the board of elections investigate. they did on site. They changed them in the computer. And they voted on the correct ballot and walked out>
White says those problems have been running in the family.
that same afternoon, an aunt and uncle that live directly across the street from my parents went to the board of elections to vote early... Did not know my parents had... And voted on the wrong ballot!>
Even after election officials assured everybody the errors were being fixed...they continued up until election day.
White's brother and sister-in-law have the same voting address as her parents...
But when they went to vote Tuesday....they were also given wrong ballots.
White says this proves the Board of Elections is correcting problems on a case-by-case basis....instead of fixing the system.
I believe that this is systemic. I believe there's a lot more wrong with this election than meets the eye because these are all popping up coincidentally by people who are questioning. I believe there's a strong possibility that many people are voting on the wrong ballot but they're not challenging it because they're attributing it to re-districting."
White says her family's problems with the voting system aren't unique.
After she posted a message about those experiences online, she says another District 3 voter approached her.
he said, 'We had the same problem, we told them, they would not listen.' They don't want to hear that there's problems, apparently.>
After her parents ran into voting glitches, White spoke personally with Jeanetta Watson....the elections supervisor.
Jeanetta did not fix it. That was demonstrated. It was not fixed. The Sec of State had to get involved for them to get to the root of the cause. And it still hasn't been fixed. Apparently they're putting bandaids on here and there... But again... I think my confidence in the board of elections... It's just not there.>
We called the board of elections...and went to their office.
The staff there said Watson is very busy...and unable to talk.
In the newsroom, anita oh. Frank? Back to you.
Nancy White was not involved in this past election....she did not run for a seat in the new consolidated government.
Now on to the Bibb County commission seats on the ballot.
Five of the nine new commissioners were elected yesterday.
Gary Bechtel won District 1 .... Elaine Lucas in Disctrict 3 .... Bert Bivins in District 5 .... Scotty Shepherd one District 7 .... And Al Tillman claimed District 9
We caught up with all five today who say they are all excited to start. At eyewitness news at five ... We talked with Shepherd and Bivins..Here are the remaining three commissioners talkilng about the the new consolidated government
<gary bechtel, district 1 - we start fresh in january building the new government, doing budgets and tryign to make up the hard decisions that are going to be necessary to get the city moving forward
al tillman, district 9 - and I have no reason to doubt that we can all put out differences aside and work for the betterment of the people
elaine lucas, district 3 - the new goverment is going to make everyone take stock into work very hard to first learn what's in this new charter, learn about the new form of government that we have adopted and you'll see a move toward suggesting some changes
Of course....not all those commission races are finished.
Like Reichert and Ellis, candidates in four races must now campaign for runoffs on October 15th.
In district two...Two Macon council members....Larry Schlesinger...who's also a rabbi....and teacher Henry Ficklin.
District 4.... Mallory Jones against Beverly Olson. Jones is a realtor...Olson is also a city council member...and a longtime trustee of her family's Knight Foundation.
The city's longest-serving elected official....Ed DeFore... and Adah Roberts will meet in district 6. Roberts is a former chief financial officer for the city of Macon.
And the district 8 seat will be decided between two more Macon council members... Virgil Watkins and Charles Jones. Watkins is an educator and coach.....Jones is a minister.
About 300 jobs at Boeing's Macon plant could be on the line...when the company ends production of the C-17 in two years.
Nearly 3,000 employees work on the military cargo plane in Macon plant and three other locations.
A company spokeswoman says they'll start reducing production next year.
They're not certain exactly how many Macon jobs...because they hope to re-direct those people to other projects.
The Macon plant assembles parts for the C-17...which is actually built in Long Beach California.
Today started the beginning phases of a nearly 2 million dollar georgia department of transportation construction project in West Macon.
It will affect the way some of you get around and turn onto side roads.
But traffic patterns aren't the only concern.
Elise Brown spoke with a homeowner who will be affected.
It's not a sight Central Georgians are used to.
<there's gonna be a new roundabout. It's gonna be a five-point entrance, covering Lamar Road, Thomaston Road, which is also known as georgia 74, johnson road, and lower thomaston.>
Jonathan Osborne works for a contractor.... And is marking off utility lines...for the estimated year and a half project.
<it's gonna be a major change and it's suppose to help alleviate the congestion right here in this intersection....theres been a lot of fender benders. >
Eugene Whitehead has lived in this home for 37 years.... right off SR 74...and has seen much more than just fender benders.
<i've had them jump over my real grand fence, come almost hit my pool, I've had them everywhere, all in the ditches.>
About a year and a half ago Whitehead says the road pattern changed.
<I mean that done a lot of good. Now most of the wrecks now is up on Thomaston road and on the main road. >
Whitehead thought that was good enough....but now....GDOT bought part of Whitehead's land for its newest..nearly 2 million dollar project.. that's suppose to improve the intersection.
<we lost about 12 foot of our property over on the side of the house. All the way from the front to the back . Because they got to have a right of ways.>
Whitehead is hopeful that it will further help with accidents.
As per agreement....GDOT will put shrubbery in front of his home to help block car lights....and re-do his driveway.
Elise Brown..13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
Osborne says there will be no construction between 6 and 9 am.... and 3 to 6 pm...when school and commuter traffic is highest.
Reporter Elise Brown noticed at least 15 trucks going through this area...in less than an hour and a half.