Toms, Musselwhite gearing up for runoff push

chwright@macon.comNovember 6, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Even with an election recount in the offing, Randy Toms and Joe Musselwhite aren’t just marking time.

“We’re moving on,” Musselwhite replied to the question of whether he’d wait on Friday’s recount results before continuing to campaign.

They were the top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s mayor’s race. Toms took 24.6 percent of the vote, and Musselwhite captured 22.9 percent.

The two men said they spent Wednesday regrouping, as well as fielding phone calls from supporters and reporters. Much of the day was spent preparing for the next steps in their campaigns. The runoff is Dec. 3.

Councilman Daron Lee, who finished just 45 votes behind Musselwhite, said Wednesday that he found problems in the results and wants a recount. It’s likely that Toms would remain in the runoff no matter the recount results, but his opponent could change.

Still, the retired firefighter said that won’t alter his strategy.

“I’m going to keep working hard to get the job done,” he said. “I’ve run a steady race up to this point. I’m just going to steadily keep doing what I’m doing.”

Musselwhite said he spent most of Wednesday rearranging his campaign signs.

“We had put some out by the polls, but we can’t just let a bunch of them hang out out there by Second Baptist Church,” he said.

The retired Public Works director said he didn’t do any active campaigning Wednesday because “I don’t think people want to see you out there waving at them” the day after Election Day.

Toms spent most of Wednesday downsizing to one headquarters building that is more noticeable on Watson Boulevard.

“I’ve been talking to some key people,” Toms said. “Just picking back up where I was.”

Toms said he will need to raise more money for the runoff. As of his Oct. 25 state-required campaign contributions form, he had just $75 remaining from the $36,800 he had raised. Toms was the top fundraiser in the mayor’s race.

“I don’t like leaving anything on the table,” Toms said. “I felt like if my message got out and we needed to raise more money to finish the race, then we can do that.”

Musselwhite goes into the runoff campaign with $9,800, as of his Oct. 25 filing. He raised $24,019 overall.

“I put a lot of miles on my shoes -- instead of sending out mailers and things of that nature, anticipating a runoff,” he said. “Not that we held back, but you can’t fire your cannons all at one time.”

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

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