Fri., April 5, 2013 2:51pm (EDT)

Macon-Bibb Mayoral Race Gets Crowded
By Adam Ragusea
Updated: 1 year ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
In announcing his candidacy for Macon-Bibb County mayor Friday, county commissioner Joe Allen held up his cell phone and revealed the number, promising to be in direct contact with constituents and supporters. (Photo: Adam Ragusea/GPB News)
In announcing his candidacy for Macon-Bibb County mayor Friday, county commissioner Joe Allen held up his cell phone and revealed the number, promising to be in direct contact with constituents and supporters. (Photo: Adam Ragusea/GPB News)
Yet another experienced candidate launched a campaign for mayor of the consolidated Macon-Bibb County government Friday, joining a race that is starting to resemble a mad dash.

State lawmakers voted recently to make Macon-Bibb elections nonpartisan, and to move election day from November to July when the party primaries would have been. As a result, candidates now have only four months to woo voters.

On top of that, the new consolidated government only offers about half as many elected positions as the city and county have had on their own, thus incumbents are in a game of musical chairs. The current Macon mayor and his predecessor are in the hunt for the top job, as are the current county commission chair and his predecessor.

When vice chair of the commission Joe Allen launched his candidacy Friday morning, he tried to distinguish himself by promising to be a different kind of mayor. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is a cell phone," he said holding a phone below his face. "My phone number is 478-955-4100. You will have my number, you will not have to call and ask a secretary to try to reach me."

Following his remarks, Allen invited reporters to take his picture beneath a framed copy of the 10 Commandments he said he would keep above his desk if elected. "I live by the 10 Commandments," he said. "I'm a Christian and I'm very proud of it."