Thomas snags WR Post 4 win by one vote

jmink@macon.comNovember 5, 2013 

Thomas barely avoids city council runoff by one vote

WARNER ROBINS — It was Tim Thomas’ third time running for Warner Robins City Council, and this time he won — by one vote.

Thomas drew 50 percent of the votes for the Post 4 seat, narrowly avoiding a runoff election with 681 out of 1,361 votes cast, according to unofficial election results.

“I’ll take it,” Thomas said, hugging supporters and shaking hands at City Hall.

One opponent, Ben Campbell, who had 338 votes or 24.8 percent, said Tuesday night that he would not seek a recount. The other opponent, Bob Wilbanks, who had 342 votes or 25.1 percent, said he was not yet sure whether he would seek a recount.

“I’m not interested in costing the city more money,” but on the other hand, it was very close,” Wilbanks said immediately after the election.

Thomas, 50, owner of Parkway Bonding Co., said one of his top priorities is to develop a passive park in the Post 4 area.

“I’m very serious about it, and I intend to do that,” he said.

He also wants to focus on helping build the economy, and he has developed a four-step plan to bring more businesses to Warner Robins. He says a better economy depends on four factors: a quality education system, a good quality of life, strong city finances and stable leadership.

“You have to have ... people that work together no matter how the vote falls,” he said during his campaign. “We have got to get the leadership fixed first.”

Thomas and his supporters watched the results at City Hall. A line of supporters sat in a row of seats, wearing yellow and black “Tim Thomas City Council” shirts. Their eyes were glued to the screen as they awaited the results.

Thomas mingled with the crowd, admitting that he was nervous.

When the results were read, Thomas slapped hands and embraced his supporters, who yelled and clapped.

Thomas said he wanted to be councilman because he believes in his plan, and he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was a councilman in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I can guarantee you Ray Thomas is up there in heaven smoking a cigar and smiling big right now,” he said.

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.

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