But politicos are saying that the race for Columbia County Commission Chair will be the real local election to watch, while the race for mayor of Augusta will likely be a total snoozer.
Why’s that, you ask?
Insiders say that candidate Gould Hagler II simply waited too long to announce his intentions to run for mayor of Augusta against incumbent Hardie Davis.
After all, citizens should remember that Davis won the mayor’s race in 2014 with 75 percent of the vote.
And even though many Richmond County residents have been thoroughly disappointed with Davis’ lack of leadership and inability to communicate well with either the Augusta Commission or the public, that’s still quite a large voting population that supported him.
Even if he loses 20 percent of his former supporters that backed him four years ago, Davis will still beat Hagler.
He’s told several people that he has been considering a run for office for several years.
If he was serious back then, Hagler should have treated this upcoming election like a real job opportunity.
You can’t play around with voters. They need to know that your entire heart and soul is committed to serving the community.
Just look at Augusta’s neighbors in Columbia County. The campaign for chair of the commission began early last year.
All three candidates vying to succeed incumbent chairman Ron Cross didn’t play around.
Former EMA Director Pam Tucker, District 1 Columbia County Commissioner Doug Duncan and business owner Mark Herbert put their cards on the table and got down to business very early.
They made it clear that they cared about the job and they were taking the May 22 election seriously.
The fact is, Hagler has less than a month to introduce himself to Richmond County voters (many of whom have absolutely no clue about this 33-year-old young man.)
That’s not enough time.
And while he did some campaigning over the past few weeks since announcing his run for mayor (such as walking in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and having a few community gatherings), Hagler pretty much decided to wait until after Masters Week to throw his campaign into high gear.
That kind of strategy leads to voters asking, “Hagler, who?” at the polls.
It’s sad, because had Hagler started late last year, he might have had a chance.
Not because he’s the best or most experienced candidate for the job, but simply because Davis has made a total disaster of his first term.
Davis has been ineffective and a total letdown as mayor, but he’ll likely win another term because he has no real challenger.
Can we all say, “Major missed opportunity?”
Sorry, Augusta. You really deserve better.
Over in Columbia County, it’s an entirely different story.
The race is on, and it is definitely heated between Duncan, Tucker and Herbert.
While most politicos believe that Duncan will likely win the election in the end, some folks are warning that people shouldn’t count Tucker out.
In fact, some insiders are predicting a runoff between Tucker and Duncan.
The winner will be whoever is willing to work the hardest near the end.
Too bad Hagler didn’t take a page from Columbia County’s playbook.