It is official. Macon mayor Robert Reichert has announced his intentions of running for re-election in 2011.
Before Reichert became mayor of Macon, he was elected to the Georgia House (District 126) representing northwest Macon and Bibb County. He served five terms in the Georgia Assembly and prior to the Sonny Perdue-led Republican takeover of Georgia, Reichert chose not seek reelection in 2002 in the Georgia Assembly.
However, after C. Jack Ellis completed his second consecutive term in 2007, Reichert announced his intentions to be mayor.
Reichert won the November 6, 2007, mayoral election with 96 percent of the vote and put down the Republican challenge of David Cousino, 11,488 to 461.
Reichert defeated multiple African-American candidates -Anita Ponder, Lance Randall, Thelma Dillard, and Henry Ficklin and eventually won with 63.1 percent of the vote.
It is still early, and Reichert is the only one to officially announce, but former two-term mayor C. Jack Ellis says he is 90% sure.
Other candidates may announce, but it does not appear there will be multiple candidates this time around and it may benefit Ellis in a potential one-on-one match-up with Reichert in a 2011 summer primary.
The current mayor said he wants to seek re-election so he can “see some projects come to fruition.” Reichert said those projects include the Second Street Boulevard and Sardis Church Road connector.
Ellis ran for mayor in 1999, and was elected as the first African-American to hold the position. After a successful first term, he was re-elected in 2003 after defeating several challengers in the Democratic primary and write-in opposition in the general election.
Ellis’s administration was also responsible for approximately $1 million in loans to disadvantaged businesses.
Ellis had several accomplishments during his two terms, but gained political enemies on City Council and in the news media.
In an interview with 11th Hour, Ellis admitted his greatest mistake was giving in during negotiations for a sales tax split between the city and the county, which are required by the state after every US Census.
“Talk about mistakes, that’s the greatest mistake I made,” he said. “In that same situation again, I wouldn’t take less than 70 percent, which would make a difference in financial terms.”