Columbus mayoral race heats up as qualifying ends - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Columbus mayoral race heats up as qualifying ends

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

The political season has officially begun as the qualifying period for candidates seeking office ended Friday at Noon. The major local race involves Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and challenger Colin Martin.

Mayor Tomlinson says the city of Columbus has never been more alive and if re-elected, she will focus on building on her success from the first term. But Colin Martin says he has a different idea -- he says there are many things that need to change.

The candidates have been pushing these messages on the campaign trail for weeks. The race escalated Thursday when Martin released his four-point plan on public safety, and Mayor Tomlinson responded by saying it's not much of a plan.

“The Martin plan, I guess you'll call it, is just basically 4 principles or thoughts with very little articulation in how that will be implemented,” says Tomlinson.

“You know, for a press conference, we didn't get into a whole lot of details, but obviously those details are going to come out as we continue to have conversations with Columbus,” said Martin in a response to Tomlinson’s remarks.

Along with his public safety plan, Martin says he wants to listen more to citizens. He says it's something the current mayor doesn't do a very good job of.

“It's often times how politicians are,” says Martin. “They talk and then they think their job is to listen, for me, I think the job is to listen not talk.”

“I would say that would be a bit more related to his misinformation and exposure to the forums,” said Mayor Tomlinson, mentioning her public forums where she listens to citizens, including “Let’s Talk with the Mayor.” “Citizens tell me all the time, they've never had a public official that has this many forums.”

Both candidates also emphasized the importance of developing South Columbus and being financially-prudent by bringing the city out of the red.

Martin mentioned the importance of Fort Benning and bringing more jobs to the area and Tomlinson harped on the redevelopment of the riverfront property between TSYS and Bibb City and the transportation initiative with high speed rail.

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