House District 142
In this race is Nikki Randall who followed her father, William Randall, into the state House after he was appointed to Bibb County’s Civil Court. Her opponent is Gerald Harvey, a former Macon City councilman. First elected in 1999, Randall floated below the radar until consolidation raised its head again, one of the many times it had come before the Legislature in its almost 100-year quest. Where it had failed before, Randall deftly, as chairwoman of the local delegation, guided the legislation through the House and it was eventually accepted in the state Senate. For that effort, she has been widely castigated in some corners, but the voters approved the measure and an issue that had hung like a milestone around the area’s neck was lifted.
Randall serves on the House Health & Human Services Committee, Information and Audits and the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. Randall, a Democrat, has worked well with Republicans, particularly those in the Bibb delegation. In her position on the Health & Human Services Committee she helped the medicinal marijuana legislation, sponsored by fellow delegation member Rep. Allen Peake, through the committee process and on to the House floor where it passed with only four dissenting votes.
We see no reason to change horses at this time. It seems our delegation has hit its stride and Randall is one of the architects.
Citizen Advisory Board: Richard Tarver Jr., Hill Kaplan, Charles Bass, Bill Curry, Betty Toussaint, Gene Strouss, Giles O’Neal, Amy Elton. Editorial Board: Don Bailey.
House District 143
This race features Rep. James Beverly and former Bibb County Commissioner Lonzy Edwards. Beverly was also instrumental in getting consolidation through the House. He added the Small Business Development requirement in the legislation and a new department head for that position has been selected. Beverly has a good grasp of the issues that face the area and has proven he can work across party lines. He’s young and still learning the ropes, but has formed relationships with his colleagues that should bear fruit.
Edwards is an able legislator and has a lot going for him. He shepherded the effort to address the encroachment issues facing Warner Robins Air Force Base. He, like the other commissioners, had the foresight to push for the SPLOST, that when passed, helped the area attract Tractor Supply. Edwards also sat on the committee that addressed the issues at the animal shelter after the county took charge of it from the city.
This one was a tough decision. Both men have particular talents. It came down to two simple issues. Beverly supported and pushed consolidation at great risk to his young political career. Edwards did not favor consolidation. And there was the thought that Beverly has many more years of service ahead of him.
We choose James Beverly.
Citizen Advisory Board: Bill Curry, Amy Elton, Gene Strouss, Hill Kaplan, Giles O’Neal, Betty Toussaint, Charles Bass, Bob Berlin. Editorial Board: Don Bailey, Sherrie Marshall, Charles E. Richardson.