WARNER ROBINS -- Tim Thomas, whose election came down to one vote, was sworn in Monday to the Post 4 council seat.
“For everyone who worked with me two years ago, we set a groundwork that paid off in this election,” Thomas said after he was sworn in by Houston County Superior Court Judge Edward D. Lukemire. Thomas’ wife, Carol, was by his side. “This past election, we spent less than $900, and we got half the voters.
“To Post 4, I want to make this very clear to you. I will not jeopardize your vote. I will not play politics with your vote. I take it very seriously, and I will be a voice that will be heard for Post 4,” Thomas continued. “As for the city of Warner Robins’ department heads, I look forward to working with you. I think we’re going to make a good team.”
Thomas, 50, won the seat in his third bid for council Nov. 5 with the required 50 percent plus at least one vote, which was a total of 681 votes. He edged out his closest competitor, Bob Wilbanks, who captured 342 votes and called for a recount. The other candidate, Ben Campbell, captured 338 votes.
Losing one vote in the Nov. 8 recount would have placed Thomas in a runoff with Wilbanks, a former councilman. But the numbers did not change for the Post 4 race.
Thomas replaces Mike Brashear, who resigned his seat earlier this year in an unsuccessful bid for mayor. Although the Post 4 council race appeared on the general election ballot, it was a special election to fill the vacancy. General election winners, including those in runoff races Dec. 3, are expected to be sworn into office in January.
Thomas is a second generation councilman. His late father, Ray Thomas, served on Warner Robins council from 1976 to 1984.
Thomas’ mother, sister, brother, son, his two twin step-daughters and his mother’s parents all attended his swearing in at City Hall.
“He was a councilman from the time I was in elementary school through the time I graduated high school,” Thomas said of his father. “I learned a lot of ethics from him. A smart man -- smarter than I’ll ever be -- and hopefully if I can do just a little bit of what my father did, I’ll be a very happy guy.”
Thomas, owner of Parkway Bonding Co., touted developing a passive park in the Post 4 area as among his top priorities. He also plans to focus on helping build the economy.
“It’s important to me because it’s not just a city. It’s what we call home,” Thomas said of serving on council. “I was born and raised here. I’m going to die here. I want my children to raise their families here.”
After he was sworn in, Thomas took his council seat for the Monday night meeting.
Telegraph archives were used in this report. To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.