Gerald Harvey, the one time Macon City Councilman, from 1979 to 1987, is challenging Nikki Randall who has served in the House for 13 years. While a number of reasons could be noted for this challenge by Harvey, the most predominate is that he disagrees with Randall’s stance on consolidation.
Randall, as chairwoman of the delegation, helped shepherd the bill through the many twists and turns that had sunk it in year’s past. Randall has to be given partial credit for bringing in a new era of cooperation to the delegation. And while this year’s effort to bring a bill the people of Bibb County could vote on is notable, the political risk was higher when she favored consolidation bills in the past in opposition to then Rep. David Lucas and the late state Sen. Robert Brown.
There are a few issues that need to be addressed, Randall is partisan and that’s one of the reasons nonpartisan elections on the local level were left out of the consolidation bill. We think she can be convinced to change her mind on that point. The other issue occurred when asked by our panel whether she would vote for consolidation. She was strangely noncommittal. She had already taken the political hit and survived the pressure from those opposed to consolidation so why not vote for legislation she sponsored?
Randall is, however, one of the few voices in the Legislature supporting public education. She fought against the constitutional amendment that will allow, if approved in November, the state to sponsor charter schools without local board approval,
Harvey is in danger of being though of as the new Wink Layson of Macon politics. Layson was known to seek a variety of offices -- unsuccessfully. Harvey, has run for mayor, council and now the state House. While Randall has her faults, she is head and shoulders above the competition.