Shaheen ousts incumbent councilman from Post 1 seat

jmink@macon.comDecember 3, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Mayor Chuck Shaheen will help lead the city of Warner Robins next year as a councilman.

Shaheen won the Post 1, at-large seat Tuesday, ousting incumbent Mike Daley with 58.9 percent of the vote. Shaheen had 2,803 votes, and Daley had 1,956 in the runoff election.

“I’m excited. I’m excited about the city of Warner Robins, the progress we’re going to make. We’re going to have a great team,” Shaheen said as he celebrated with supporters at Greek Village Restaurant in Warner Robins. “More than anything, my prayer was that if God wanted me to be elected, then he would move in the people’s hearts.”

Some of Shaheen’s initial priorities will include bringing a transit service to the city, as well as completing a sports complex. The city needs to turn the sports complex project over to the Redevelopment Agency board, which paved the way for the new law enforcement center, he said.

“Let’s take politics out and bring progress in,” he said.

Shaheen, 52, has said he wanted to seek a spot on council so he could continue to serve the city while returning full time to the private sector. He said he believes council sets the vision for the city.

“We’ve got a lot of good projects coming up,” he said.

Shaheen nearly won the seat outright during the Nov. 5 general election, gaining 49.7 percent of the vote. Daley received 28.5 percent of the vote in the November election, which featured four candidates, forcing a runoff.

“I was an underdog after the general election numbers came out,” Daley said Tuesday as he chatted with supporters at Mike’s Hot Dogs and Hamburgers. “I knew the stars were going to have to be aligned, but we’ve run a good race.”

Daley, 64, said he does not plan to run for office again. While he has enjoyed his four years on City Council, Daley said he doesn’t think he is much of a politician. Still, he believes he brought good qualities to council, particularly his business experience.

After a 20 percent voter turnout in November, Daley told The Telegraph he was counting on new voters to work in his favor during the runoff election. Voter turnout was 14.5 percent for the runoff.

“I’m really concerned about voter turnout altogether,” he said Tuesday.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.

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