WARNER ROBINS -- A teary-eyed Keith Lauritsen upset incumbent Paul Shealy in a tight Warner Robins City Council Post 3 race.
Lauritsen won 939-915 with 50.6 percent of the vote.
“I’m surprised to say the least,” he said after the votes were tallied at Warner Robins City Hall Tuesday.
After hugging one of his biggest supporters -- former councilwoman Henrietta McIntyre, who also served as interim mayor -- Lauritsen was even more emotional.
More hugs went around as Lauritsen found Shealy.
“I hate for anyone to lose,” Lauritsen said.
He attributed the closeness of the race to he and Shealy being so much alike with their volunteer efforts as well as their community support.
Shealy, who was elected in 2009, was disappointed but said he wouldn’t ask for a recount.
“I trust the people,” he said.
He plans on spending more time with his 10 grandchildren.
Earlier Tuesday, two of those grandchildren, Claire Allen, 13, and Guy Allen, 12, who traveled from Fort Mead, Md., helped “pawpaw” with the campaign.
They sat for a while in the back of a pickup truck at Second Baptist Church and then went near the road to get motorists to honk at them. Second Baptist is one of two voting precincts for the Post 3 race.
Both candidates had crews situated in spots since before the polls opened.
Shealy had been in the same spot at Second Baptist since 6:45 a.m. where he said he was during the election four years ago.
“People expect you to be out waving on election day,” he said.
Lauritsen had family at the church but was at Miller Elementary School from nearly 7 a.m. until after 6 p.m.
“If it wasn’t for every person who made a call ... or waved a sign” he wouldn’t have won, said Lauritsen after the election results were announced.