Reichert Wins Democratic Mayoral Runoff

9:00 AM, Aug 17, 2011   |    comments
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Robert Reichert won the Democratic runoff for Mayor, defeating C. Jack Ellis by a mere 537 votes, and all but assuring himself a second four-year term. 

Bibb County election supervisor Elaine Carr said provisional ballots still to be counted were highly unlikely to change the outcome.

With no Republican on the ballot in November, "it appears that I'm going to be your Mayor for the next four years," Reichert declared to cheering supporters at the Armory Ballroom in downtown Macon.

With all 28 precincts reporting:

Reichert 10,307  51.5% (i)    (Nominated)
Ellis     9,770  48.5% 

Ellis conceded the race while Reichert was claiming victory.

"I'd like to congratulate Robert Reichert and his team on their victory and wish him well over the next four years as he guides the ship of our city," Ellis told supporters at his Hardeman Avenue headquarters. 

But he said Reichert should look "to the statement that was made. It was a very close race. He will have to say that 49 percent, almost half of the people in this city...."

He was interrupted by chants of "We Love Jack!"

"....this is a loud voice you have here, 49 percent of the people; that's a loud voice. So don't let your voice be silenced -- never, ever. Forwards ever, backwards never."

In an interview with 13WMAZ, Reichert was asked what he would like to say to Ellis supporters.

"My theme all along has been working together," Reichert said. "And I intend to continue to do exactly that -- to reach out to every area of this community and try to make positive change. Every neighborhood in this community needs to be a safe neighborhood. People need to be happy to live where they are and have pride in living where they live."

The primary runoff between the incumbent and his predecessor drew a turnout far higher than typical for a citywide runoff. Some 3,000 more votes were cast than on Primary Day four weeks ago. The 20,077 votes cast Tuesday amounted to a registered-voter turnout of close to 45 percent. 

Reichert noted that returns from two Vineville precincts put him over the top.

"We felt good" about the last two precincts to report in because, Reichert said, "that's where I grew up." His brother Stephen still lives in the family home on Calloway Drive.

"Overall, the race was very close but we are thrilled to death and excited to have this victory. Hard-fought campaign but we're delighted with the result." 

He said he's scheduled for his annual physical exam on the day after the runoff. He joked he'd be "gettin' ready physically for the next four years." 

"But beyond that we're going to start reaching out tomorrow to build the consensus that we need going forward for the next four years, to work together for progress for all of Macon."

David Cousino, the Republican candidate four years ago, says he is running as a write-in candidate in the November general election.

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