COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The Columbus mayor’s race is on the ballot tomorrow. It is a two-man race between incumbent Skip Henderson and Columbus businessman John Anker.
Because it’s just two of them you will have a winner and a loser tomorrow night.
Henderson is a seasoned politician, serving 20 years on council in a citywide post before being elected mayor four years ago.
Anker is a Columbus businessman who has never offered himself for public office until this race.
Anker has pounded the mayor on crime and transparency. Henderson has told voters to look at his record and not to focus solely on the crime issue.
Here’s how they feel about their chances.
“I don’t think anybody puts their name on the ballot that doesn’t think they are going to win,” Henderson said. “But, yeah, we have had some people who have worked very, very hard. And I think we have been able to share with folks why we think we are the best option for Columbus moving forward. So, yeah. I feel very good about tomorrow.”
Anker does not know what to expect.
“I want to feel really positive,” he said. “But I really just don’t know. I think it’s 50-50. I think the mayor has stated his case … And I think we have stuck to staying focused on the things we would like to bring to the table. So, I really just don’t know. I really don’t.”
Anker says win or lose – he has forced the city’s issue on transparency.
“I feel like we have won,” Anker said before the first vote is counted. “And the reason I feel like we have won because everybody wants safer streets and less crime. And everybody wants a better economy. The way we have really changed is bringing to light is the lack of transparency and the things we expect from our government officials and leaders. I think people are going to expect more. People are going to ask harder questions. People want more, they want the same things they have always wanted. But now they are asking better questions.”
That’s not how the mayor sees it.
“There is probably no more transparent government anywhere in the country,” Henderson said. “Not because we televise everything, even our budget meetings. We put everything online, our audits, our budgets our updates. We have quarterly town hall meetings, at least until COVID interrupted them. We have quarterly town hall meetings, Let’s Talk Columbus, to try and get face-to-face with people, and bring all the department heads. No. If anything he’s made transparency more difficult because people may think there is more than there is.”