20 qualify to run for spots in the new Macon-Bibb government

pramati@macon.comApril 22, 2013 

Current Macon Mayor Robert Reichert, former Mayor C. Jack Ellis and Bibb County Commission Vice Chairman Joe Allen were among the early candidates who qualified Monday for offices in the consolidated Macon-Bibb County government set to begin Jan. 1.

Reichert, 64, an attorney; Ellis, 67, a consultant; and Allen, 63, a retired firefighter, all are seeking the mayor’s office in the new government.

In all, 20 candidates qualified for the mayoral and county commission posts.

The other candidates who qualified Monday:

• District 2: Henry Ficklin, 63, retired educator and Macon city councilman; and Larry Schlesinger, 62, rabbi and city councilman;

• District 3: Elaine Lucas, 62, educator and city councilwoman; and Danny Glover, 25, advertising account executive;

• District 4: Mallory Jones III, 65, Realtor;

• District 5: Bert Bivins III, 71, Bibb County commissioner; Louis “Frank” Tompkins, 70, city councilman;

• District 6: Robert Abbott, 64, retired; Ed DeFore, 81, city councilman; and Adah Roberts, 62, a certified public accountant;

• District 7: Celeste Queen, 59, homemaker; Warren “Scotty” Shepherd, 63, retired law enforcement officer; Barry Bell, 50, golf course manager; and Eric Arnold, 38, software developer;

• District 8: Regina Davis, 51, real estate broker; Charles Jones, 59, pastor and city councilman; Virgil Watkins Jr., 28, pre-college advisor and city councilman.

No candidates qualified Monday for Districts 1 or 9.

The special election is scheduled for July 16, but a pending decision by the U.S. Department of Justice may change things if the court doesn’t approve the changes made to the consolidated government’s charter that were approved by the state Legislature in March.

The federal approval must be made by June 2. If the changes aren’t approved for nonpartisan elections, the county would have to hold a new qualifying period, with the primaries in August and the general election Nov. 5, according to the county.

Early voting for nonpartisan elections is set from June 25 to July 12, and Bibb County residents have until June 17 to register to vote.

Should a runoff be necessary, it would be held Aug. 13.

Prospective candidates wishing to qualify can do so at the Bibb County Board of Elections office, 2445 Pio Nono Ave., in Macon from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. through Thursday and on Friday from 9 a.m.-noon. The cost is $3,000 to run for mayor and $450 to qualify for a commission seat.

For information on Bibb County’s districts, visit a macon.com page at tinyurl.com/bibbdistricts online.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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