No letdown as familiar foes Reichert, Ellis dash toward Tuesday runoff | Elections |


No letdown as familiar foes Reichert, Ellis dash toward Tuesday runoff | Elections |

If there’s one thing that Robert Reichert and C. Jack Ellis agree on, it’s this: The score is 0-0.

Both candidates to become the first mayor of the new Macon-Bibb County consolidated government say the fact that Reichert drew about 7,000 more votes Ellis in last month’s special election is no longer relevant. It’s the candidate who gets more supporters to the polls Tuesday that will win the race.

Though he missed claiming the Sept. 17 election outright by just 160 votes, Reichert — who finished ahead of Ellis 17,821-10,852 — said it’s essential that his supporters return to the polls for the runoff.

“You tell them we’ve reset the scoreboard,” said Reichert, who has served as Macon’s mayor since he was elected in 2007. “It’s whoever gets the most votes. … Our two worst enemies are overconfidence and apathy. The combination is a killer. … It doesn’t matter how well we did before.”

Ellis — Macon’s first black mayor, who served from 1999 to 2007 — has taken the role of the underdog throughout the mayoral race, noting that he doesn’t have the funds or resources to match Reichert. Instead, he’s taken a grass-roots approach that he likened to Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign.

“We’re doing everything in our power over the next (few) days to getting the vote out,” he said. “We don’t have the big bucks for 30-second TV commercials. We’re taking our message of hope and growth opportunities for all across the city. It’s hard work, taking it to the streets, but we know the votes are out there. It’s like President Obama’s campaign — a people’s campaign.”

Through September’s election, Reichert’s campaign had raised and spent roughly five times what the Ellis campaign had to help get the word out. In his latest campaign disclosure released Friday, Reichert has raised a total of $425,947 and spent $393,471. Ellis’ latest campaign disclosure wasn’t available by the close of business Friday.

Reichert has spent much of the past month putting out TV and radio commercials, sending out mailers and making “robocalls” to get his message out.

Ellis said he waited until the final weekend before the runoff to air his first TV commercial.

Both candidates have made extensive use of social media, frequently updating their Face­book and Twitter feeds to urge supporters to show up for early voting and to list various endorsements.

Of the candidates who ran against Reichert and Ellis, only Bibb County Commissioner Joe Allen has made a public endorsement, throwing his support behind Reichert. Ellis and Reichert said they are making a push to urge those voters to come over to their campaigns.

via No letdown as familiar foes Reichert, Ellis dash toward Tuesday runoff | Elections |

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