Three more qualify to run for new Macon-Bibb government

pramati@macon.comApril 24, 2013 

Though qualifying for the Macon-Bibb County consolidated government runs until noon Friday, other candidates will be hard pressed to top David Cousino’s entrance into the field.

Cousino, 52, a security manager, was dressed as a cowboy as he rode a horse Wednesday afternoon to the Bibb County Board of Elections office on Pio Nono Avenue to qualify for the mayor’s race.

He then paid $1,875 of his $3,000 qualifying fee in gold dollar coins, with the remainder paid in bills.

Cousino said his gesture was symbolic, showing that Bibb County voters need to take “the horse by the reins” when voting for the new government.

Previously, Cousino has run for both mayor and chairman of the county commission, but he managed only a small percentage of votes each time.

Meanwhile, two other candidates -- Macon City Council President James Timley and Paul Bronson -- qualified for commission seats Wednesday.

Timley, a 68-year-old retired educator, qualified to run in District 9. He is the first candidate to qualify in that district.

And Bronson, 27, a National Guardsman, substitute teacher and former firefighter who ran for mayor in 2011, qualified to run for the District 2 seat.

The nonpartisan special election for the mayor and nine commission races is scheduled for July 16.

The U.S. Department of Justice still must approve the nonpartisan elections and has until June 2 to do so. If the justices don’t grant approval, qualifying will have to be redone and a partisan primary will be held in August with a general election Nov. 5.

In other voting news Wednesday, Bibb County Elections Supervisor Jeanetta Watson said some voters and candidates have been confused by the voter information cards mailed to Bibb voters over the past week. Those cards contain different voting dates than the July 16 special election.

Watson said the dates the state listed on the voting cards were changed because of the legislation that made the consolidated government races nonpartisan. Watson said election dates are always subject to change.

Other candidates who qualified earlier this week:

• Mayor: Robert Reichert, 64, attorney and Macon mayor; C. Jack Ellis, 67, a consultant and former Macon mayor; Joe Allen, 63, a retired firefighter and Bibb County Commission vice chairman; Sam Hart, 71, an educator and Bibb County Commission chairman; and Charlie Bishop, 68, a former Bibb County Commission chairman and retired Macon deputy police chief.

• District 1: Gary Bechtel, 52, a Bibb County commissioner and banker.

• 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; Beverly Olson, 62, a small business owner and city councilwoman; and Theron Ussery, 69, a former city councilman and manager at AT&T.

• 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.

Qualifying continues until noon Friday at the Bibb County Board of Elections office at 2445 Pio Nono Ave. in Macon.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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