Warner Robins mayor qualifies for council race

chwright@macon.comAugust 29, 2013 

Evans_Suspension

Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen qualifies for City Council, Post 1 race Thursday.

WOODY MARSHALL — wmarshall@macon.com

WARNER ROBINS -- Mayor Chuck Shaheen qualified for a council race Thursday afternoon, according to election officials.

“The experience and the leadership role that I’ve learned as a mayor will help me with another mayor,” Shaheen said.

Shaheen was one of two Warner Robins candidates to qualify Thursday, the other being Bibb County teacher Keith Lauritsen, who will challenge Councilman Paul Shealy for the Post 3 seat.

“There are just a lot of important issues going on right now in our city,” said Lauritsen, 49. “It’s a crucial time. It’s time to give back.”

Shaheen, 52, will run for Post 1, at-large, which is currently held by Councilman Mike Daley. Daley and another opponent, Charlie Scott, qualified for the race earlier this week.

Shaheen said as a councilman he could help set the overall agenda for the city instead of overseeing it.

“The way the charter is set up, the mayor carries out the vision,” Shaheen said. “I believe what I bring is a vision. As a mayor, I carried out the vision of previous mayors and councils.”

Shaheen pointed to his oversight of a new law enforcement center, management of special purpose local option sales tax funds, completing long-term road projects and building a relationship with Robins Air Force Base.

As a councilman, Shaheen said he would continue to work on the city’s relationship with Robins, improve recreation and continue to ensure financial stability.

Earlier this week, opponent Scott said Shaheen asked him to run for the council position last year. Shaheen said he has encouraged anyone who has spoken to him about running for office.

Lauritsen said his history as an educator gives him a unique perspective. He has been a teacher, a coach, an assistant principal and principal of Russell Elementary School. He is now an economics teacher at Southwest High School.

“Young people are our most valuable resource,” he said.

The educator said recreation and transportation are major issues for the city. Drainage problems caused by Bay Gall Creek is one issue specific to Post 3, he said.

“That’s a continual mess that we’re constantly having to clean up,” Lauritsen said. “We may need to look at some long-term solutions.”

Lauritsen said he might be able to bring a fresh set of ideas and approaches to the seat.

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; Chuck Shaheen, 52

City Council, Post 3: Paul Shealy, 68, incumbent; Keith Lauritsen, 49

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; Mark C. Waters, 52

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; LeMario Brown, 28

City Council West Ward: Anthony Clark, 41; Melba Hester, 74, incumbent

Utility Commissioner East Ward: Billy Jones, 69, incumbent; Minnie Marks Jones, 66

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

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