Macon City Council member Virgil Watkins became the latest candidate to join the race for Bibb County's new consolidated government.
At a Friday press conference, Watkins announced he's running for the District 8 seat in the county commission.
"Education is a vital and key component necessary to ensure quality of life," Watkins said. "Enhancing education fosters economic development, attracts business growth, and grows Macon's legacy. It will be important for our new government to find innovative ways to support our education system."
Macon and Bibb County will merge in 2014 and be represented by a mayor and a nine-member county commission.
District 8 stretches from the I-16/I-75 interchange through downtown and the College Hill neighborhood to south Macon, in the area between Eisenhower Parkway and Rocky Creek Road.
Another council member, Charles Jones, says he also plans to run in that district.
Watkins currently represents Macon's Ward 4 and serves as chairman of the council's public safety committee.
Bibb County voters are scheduled to pick the new consolidated government on July 16. Qualifying for those races happens April 22-26.
These candidates say they're running:
Mayor: Charles Bishop, C. Jack Ellis, Sam Hart, Robert Reichert.
District 1: Gary Bechtel
District 2: Brandon Carlisle, Henry Ficklin, Irving Martinez, Laurence Schlesinger.
District 3: Danny Glover, Elaine Lucas
District 4: Mallory Jones, Theron Ussery
District 5: Bert Bivins
District 6: Charles Abbott, Ed DeFore, Adah Roberts
District 7: Mike Cranford
District 8, Charles Jones, Virgil Watkins
District 9: No announced candidates so far. The district covers some neighborhoods of west Macon.