COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL ) – Two candidates are in the final push for Columbus’ District 7 City Council seat. 

Councilor Mimi Woodson is retiring after 28 years of service. Two Columbus business women, Laketha Ashe and Joanne Cogle, are looking to succeed her. 

It has been a long race for the political newcomers as they enter the home stretch of campaigning. The tight runoff is testing each candidate’s resilience, and they are bracing the Georgia heat for sign waving and door knocking in the final hours. 

Laketha Ashe is a small business owner who has called Columbus home for over 20 years. She owns a print company in Columbus called “As He Leads.” Ashe says her experience as an entrepreneur has prepared her for the problem solving and teamwork necessary for this leadership role. 

She says her business already works to meet the needs of the Columbus community — they provide free services like internet access and resume printing. Similarly, Ashe says she hopes to meet the needs of people in District 7. 

“All of this is things that I’ve been doing all along,” Ashe said. “Giving back to the community… whatever we take in, we give back. It’s not about being in business for an income, it’s just about that service and that’s what you have to possess. I feel like anyone that wants to go into the political field has to be a servant first.” 

Joanne Cogle, another business owner, is active in the health and fitness space in Columbus. She founded a race company called TriColumbusGA, which brings sporting events like Triathlons to the Fountain City. She also founded the athletic gym, CrossFit CSG. 

Cogle has ties to Fort Benning. She believes this helps her understand the unique challenges faced by local military families. 

“In Columbus we often operate a lot of the time as the Tri-City area which includes Phenix City, Columbus and then Fort Benning as well,” Cogle said. “So it’s really important that we maintain those ties and that we work well with Fort Benning. I think my background having worked on Fort Benning and my husband retiring from Fort Benning really makes me a strong candidate for that.”

Both candidates are planning to do last minute campaigning on Tuesday as voters head to the polls.

There will be 7 precincts open throughout the city. The polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.