2 WR mayoral candidates, council incumbent qualify for races

chwright@macon.comAugust 28, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- It’s official. Warner Robins will have a special election for City Council Post 4 after Councilman Mike Brashear qualified Wednesday for the mayor’s race with two years left on his term.

“As soon as I qualified, I automatically resigned from my council seat,” Brashear said. “I turned in my iPad and city cellphone, and hopefully I get them reissued to me in January.”

Brashear, 65, was one of three who put their names on the Warner Robins ballot on the third day of qualifying for elections that have gone a bit topsy-turvy this year, with councilmen running for mayor and the mayor expected to run for council.

Chuck Chalk, a Robins Air Force Base employee, also qualified for the mayor’s race. He’s the last anticipated candidate for the race. Also, Councilman Mike Daley, of Post 1, at large, officially entered the race that Mayor Chuck Shaheen has said he will qualify for. Shaheen had not put his name on the ballot by Wednesday.

Qualifying for council Posts 1, 3 and 5 ends Friday.

Kathy Cummings, elections superintendent, sent media an advertisement that will run this weekend calling for a special election for Post 4, Brashear’s vacated post. According to the ad, qualifying will begin Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. and end Thursday at 12:30 p.m. The special election will appear on the same Nov. 5 ballot as the other races.

Tim Thomas, a local businessman, has been the only person to announce his intention to run for Post 4.

Brashear has said he didn’t resign from his post earlier because he had some council business to complete. He said Wednesday he decided to run for mayor because he has business management experience and works well in a team environment.

“I believe every individual brings something to contribute to improving our community, so I’m very open to listening to ideas,” Brashear said.

Brashear said Shaheen’s announcement not to run for re-election as mayor changes nothing for him as a candidate.

Chalk, 46, said Shaheen’s decision “certainly makes it a lot easier” because there is no longer an incumbent with the inherent leg-up.

“Hopefully, we’ll get informed voters to the polls, and they’ll make wise decisions,” Chalk said.

Chalk narrowly lost to Shaheen in a 2009 runoff. On Wednesday, he waved to city employees watching his interview with reporters at City Hall and told them he’ll see them soon.

Chalk said he intends to use leadership learned at the base to run the city. He also expects to grow the relationship between the city and the base by making “Warner Robins a great place for the Department of Defense to do business.”

“The city needs good leadership, and I believe I am a good leader,” Chalk said.

After talking to reporters, Chalk had a long talk with Daley, who then qualified for re-election.

Daley, 64, said he -- like opponent Charlie Scott -- was surprised and confused when Shaheen announced he would seek a council seat. Shaheen said then that he wanted to move to a part- time council position and work in the private sector full time and that the powers of the mayor’s office have been stripped over the years.

But Daley said the mayor’s office has plenty of authority. The challenge of the mayor’s office, he said, is being able to lead.

“The first degree of leadership is to be able to bring people to a consensus and take them somewhere,” Daley said. “If you can’t do that as a mayor, then how are you going to do that as a councilman?”

Daley said he has worked with the team of mayor and council for the past four years and helped “accomplish quite a bit.”

Wednesday was the last day to qualify in Centerville. Only one incumbent, Post 2 Councilman Randall Wright, will face opposition. His challenger is Michael Evans.

Here’s a look at who has qualified so far:

HOUSTON COUNTY

CENTERVILLE

Mayor: John Harley, 69, incumbent

City Council Post 1: Cameron Andrews, 44, incumbent

City Council Post 2: Randall Wright, 66, incumbent; Michael Evans, 51

PERRY

Mayor: Jimmy Faircloth, 63, incumbent

City Council District 1, Post 1: Phyllis Bynum-Grace, 64, incumbent

City Council District 2, Post 1: Joe Posey, 52, incumbent

City Council District 3, Post 1: Randall Walker, 67, incumbent

WARNER ROBINS

Mayor: Mike Brashear, 65; Chuck Chalk, 46; Daron Lee, 43; Joe Musselwhite, 60; Randy Toms, 53

City Council, Post 1: Mike Daley, 64, incumbent; Charlie Scott, 71

City Council, Post 3: Paul Shealy, 68, incumbent

City Council, Post 5: Richard “Chef” Weldon, 57

PEACH COUNTY

BYRON

City Council Post 3: Michael S. Chumbley, 60, incumbent

City Council Post 5: Rick Knowles, 60

FORT VALLEY

Mayor: John Stumbo, 73, incumbent; Barbara Williams, 63

City Council East Ward: Juanita Bryan, 63, incumbent

City Council At-Large: Alonzo Allen, 58

City Council West Ward: Melba Hester, 74, incumbent

Utility Commissioner East Ward: Billy Jones, 69, incumbent

Utility Commissioner At-Large: Jo Ann Dankel, 66, incumbent

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