Incumbent Walker defeats Gilstrap for Peach County Post 5 commission seat

awoolen@macon.comNovember 6, 2012 

With just under 800 votes separating them, incumbent Melvin Walker Jr. defeated challenger Michael Gilstrap for the Peach County Commission Post 5 seat.

With all seven precincts reporting, there were 5,916 votes for Walker and 5,130 for Gilstrap. The race was tight all Tuesday night. Voter turnout was 73 percent.

“It looks like we might be back for another term,” Walker said from his home. “I appreciate them giving me an opportunity.”

Walker wasn’t glued to the television or computer after polls closed, but instead attended the Peach County Commission meeting.

“I voted early this morning to get a pulse on what the voting looked like,” he said.

Gilstrap was still waiting for another phone call to see if the numbers were close enough for him to contest the results but said he probably didn’t have enough to win. Provisional ballots won’t be counted until later in the week.

He was at the home of Byron Mayor Larry Collins watching the results on the Secretary of State’s website.

“I probably won’t run for anything else,” Gilstrap said of furthering his efforts to get elected to another office.

Gilstrap previously had been the chairman of the Peach County Board of Education and has run for other offices.

“I’m not a professional politician,” he said.

Walker said he was ready to get back to work.

“We don’t intend to abuse the trust they’ve placed in us,” he said of the Peach County voters.

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