Abbott to run against DeFore for seat in new government

pramati@macon.comFebruary 15, 2013 

After losing to Joe Allen in last year’s District 4 Bibb County Commission race, Robert Abbott is set to challenge another longtime Macon political veteran for a seat in the new consolidated government.

Abbott, a Republican, has announced he will run for the District 6 commission seat against current Macon City Councilman Ed DeFore, who announced Monday that he wants to continue his four-decade political career.

Abbott, however, said he thinks it’s time for some new blood to run the new government.

“I want to make a change to what’s going on,” he said. “You can’t keep recycling the same leaders.”

Abbott, 64, is retired from the telecommunications industry and has never held public office.

Just like in last year’s campaign, Abbott says he won’t engage in negative campaigning.

“I’m going to stress my own ideas and hope the voters support them,” he said.

Most of those ideas revolve around economic issues.

Abbott said there are few jobs for county residents, especially those graduating from area colleges.

Abbott also thinks property taxes are too high, and would like to lower them. To replace that money, Abbott wants to lobby the state to allow money from the special purpose local option sales tax to become permanent and to go into the general fund, rather than specific projects the SPLOST currently supports.

“When the SPLOST expires, I’d like to see it continue as a permanent tax,” he said. “I think we can save 30 to 40 percent in millage (if that happens). (President Barack) Obama says everyone needs to pay their fair share, and right now, there’s a lot of people not paying anything into the county because they don’t own property. ... My objective is to lower taxes.”

Right now, Abbott said, he will wait to see the efficiency of the new government, but he thinks some money will be saved with the merger of Macon, Bibb County and Payne City.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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