Five candidates qualified Tuesday to seek office this summer in the Macon-Bibb County elections that will set the leaders of the consolidated government.
Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart, 71, and former Commission Chairman Charlie Bishop, 68, both qualified to run in the mayors race. Hart is an educator, and Bishop is a retired deputy Macon police chief.
Also Tuesday, three candidates qualified to run for a spot on the nine-member commission.
County Commissioner Gary Bechtel, a 52-year-old banker and former school board member, qualified to run for the District 1 seat.
And in District 4, Macon City Councilwoman Beverly Olson, a 62-year-old small-business owner, and Theron Ussery, a 69-year-old former Macon city councilman who is a manager at AT&T, both qualified.
Although candidates this week are not qualifying with a political party for the July 16 elections, the U.S. Department of Justice must still approve nonpartisan balloting in Bibb County. The federal government has until June 2 to do so. If it doesnt give its approval, the county would reopen qualifying for a primary in August and a general election Nov. 5.
Qualifying ends Friday at noon at the Bibb County Board of Elections office, 2445 Pio Nono Ave.
Other candidates who qualified earlier this week:
Mayor: Robert Reichert, 64, attorney and Macon mayor; C. Jack Ellis, 67, a consultant and a former Macon mayor; and Joe Allen, 63, a retired firefighter and vice chairman of the Bibb County Commission.
District 2: Henry Ficklin, 63, a retired educator and Macon City councilman; and Larry Schlesinger, 62, a rabbi and city councilman.
District 3: Elaine Lucas, 62, an educator and city councilwoman; and Danny Glover, 25, an advertising account executive.
District 4: Mallory Jones III, 65, a Realtor.
District 5: Bert Bivins III, 71, a Bibb County commissioner; and Louis Frank Tompkins, 70, a city councilman.
District 6: Robert Abbott, 64, a retiree; Ed DeFore, 81, a city councilman; and Adah Roberts, 62, a certified public accountant.
District 7: Celeste Queen, 59, a homemaker; Warren Scotty Shepherd, 63, a retired law enforcement officer; Barry Bell, 50, a golf course manager; and Eric Arnold, 38, a software developer.
District 8: Regina Davis, 51, a real estate broker; Charles Jones, 59, a pastor and city councilman; and Virgil Watkins Jr., 28, a pre-college advisor and city councilman.
No candidates have yet qualified in District 9.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.