WARNER ROBINS -- Mayor Chuck Shaheen narrowly missed capturing the Post 1 at-large City Council seat Tuesday night. He is in a runoff with first-term incumbent Mike Daley.
Shaheen won 3,162 votes (49.7 percent), with Daley earning 1,810 votes (28.5 percent). First-time candidate Charlie Scott took home 1,185 votes, (18.6 percent). The Rev. Jeffrey Walker picked up only 202 votes (3.2 percent) in his fourth unsuccessful bid.
The runoff is Dec. 3.
Shaheen, who chose not to run for a second term as mayor, carried all six voting precincts.
First of all, I gotta thank the Lord Jesus, Shaheen said from City Hall. We prayed that God would move in the voters to vote for us.
I want to thank my campaign team. You cannot outwork this team that I formed. And its about forming a team whether its a campaign or about the city. So its not about a mayor or council. Its about working together as elected officials to serve the citizens of Warner Robins.
Shaheen also touted his financial expertise.
We can never lose sight of having a financially sound city, so you can provide resources for public safety, Shaheen said. Look at what weve done.
Shaheen then listed of a series of projects accomplished while he was in office, including building the new Warner Robins Law Enforcement Center, completion of an environmental assessment for the Georgia-Robins Aerospace Maintenance Partnership, and closing on land for both a sports complex and a new fire station.
Daley, whos held the Post 1 seat for four years, first thanked all those who voted for him and offered appreciation for his support team.
I think Ive got to go out and go face to face with more voters, said Daley, who was keenly aware of how close he came to losing his council seat. Ive got a lot of ground to make up.
He said he hopes to pick up votes from those who cast ballots for Scott and Walker.
Daley, a retired transportation trucking executive and part-time real estate investor, ran on his past accomplishments, his expertise in management and desire to finish the work hed started on council.
Scott, a retired long-term firefighter and emergency room technician, made his first bid for public office. Shaheen noted that Scott did well his first run for office with nearly 19 percent of the vote. Scott, who had been at City Hall awaiting election results, could not be reached for comment later by telephone.
Scott has served in various capacities on community boards through the years and desired to try his hand as an elected official. Scott wanted most to see improvement in recreational services.
Walker, who has described himself as a Methodist-ordained elder and a retired pastor, trailed in last and vowed to run again.
Im very much pleased with the results of the election, and I thank God for the privilege this great city gave me ... to get a fourth chance to run for the office of City Council, and I just trust for next year for Post 2 qualifying and trust my health will allow me next time to get out and really give a greater effort than I gave this time, Walker said.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.