Warner Robins Councilman Brashear to run for mayor

chwright@macon.comMay 28, 2013 

Editor's note: This story has been changed to reflect the correct procedure for filling Warner Robins Councilman Mike Brashear’s Post 4 seat when he qualifies in August for the mayor’s race. The seat will remain vacant until a special election is held in November. City Attorney Jim Elliott said since more than a year remains in Brashear’s term, someone must be elected to it.

WARNER ROBINS -- A Warner Robins councilman announced on Tuesday his intent to run for mayor after serving on council for two years.

Councilman Mike Brashear joins two other candidates in what is shaping up to be a crowded race. Brashear touted his years in the aerospace and defense sector as the foundation on which he can guide Warner Robins in catching up with the growth it has had in the past decade.

“This business experience has taken me internationally, allowing me to learn from firsthand experiences a broader perspective on how and why to effectively manage,” Brashear said.

Brashear, 65, joins Chuck Chalk, a logistics manager at Robins Air Force Base, and Randy Toms, former city firefighter, in early announcements. Several others are rumored to be entering the race in the coming months.

Qualifying for the Nov. 5 election is in August.

Brashear, a Warner Robins transplant of 15 years, won the Post 4 council seat in 2011. Brashear lived in the city for five years on two different work assignments before settling in the city permanently.

He has 47 years of aerospace and defense experience, eight in the U.S. Air Force and the rest in corporate America.

“I understand budgets, profit and loss, and time management -- critical skills to overall success,” Brashear said.

His vision for Warner Robins includes quality of life improvements, re-establishing older sections of town and creating a focal area for growth and working with local colleges.

In his 18 months as councilman, Brashear has pushed for action on recreation projects and most recently public transit. Studies have been done for both.

“It is time to make decisions, plan and implement. We need less studying and more action,” Brashear said.

He also would work with Robins Air Force Base and the 21st Century Partnership to prepare for a Base Realignment and Closure Commission, known as BRAC, “regardless if Congress accepts the president’s call for it or not.”

Brashear said he’d prefer to run for mayor this year instead of the next race in four years. He’d like to retire by then, he said.

Asked if he sought to be a one-term mayor, Brashear said, “Yes.”

Brashear said he told Mayor Chuck Shaheen he would be entering the race.

“He was less than pleased that I decided to take this action,” Brashear said. “But it’s time for real leadership.”

In response to a call for comment, Shaheen forwarded the media an email he sent to Brashear. In it, he tells Brashear that while he still hasn’t decided whether he’ll run for re-election, “I will endorse the candidate that has the highest degree of character and integrity.”

In the email to Brashear, Shaheen accepted Brashear’s resignation from council. But Brashear responded his resignation isn’t until he officially registers for the mayoral race during the August qualifying period.

“... I thought the ethical thing to do was resign when you left me the message on Friday,” Shaheen responded.

When Brashear qualifies, a special election will need to be called to fill his Post 4 seat in November. The seat will remain vacant until then.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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