MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Gary Bechtel has won the District 3 seat on the Bibb County Commission.
Bechtel collected 51% of the total vote — just one percent more than he needed to avoid a run-off.
Mallory Jones came in second with 39%. Ed Bond collected 10%.
Bechtel's supporters gathered at Cheddar's Casual Cafe on Riverside Drive on Tuesday night, where they enjoyed each other's company and waited patiently for the results to come in.
Bechtel tells 41NBC he's ready to get started as the new District 3 commissioner and is thankful for the opportunity.
"(I'm) very fortunate," says Bechtel. "Thankful for a lot of good friends, a lot of good supporters and the opportunity to serve Bibb County. I look forward to the next year and trying to get some work done as it relates to preparing for a new government. I'm very excited about the possibilities that exist."
Jones held his watch party at Coldwell Banker on Bass Road. Supporters there stayed glued to television sets and computers, waiting for the results of the race. Bond decided to watch Tuesday night's numbers unfold from the comforts of his own home.
Both candidates say even though they're disappointed by the election's results, their campaigns gave it their all.
"I'm very disappointed," says Jones. "Worked extremely hard. A lot of people helped me in this race, so I worked extremely hard. I'll have to make a decision if consolidation passes, which I hope it will, will I run for the new District 4 next year? Because I'll be in a different district next year. It's extremely disappointing, but as they say in football, I've left it all on the field. I've given it my best shot."
"Now I can go back to retirement," says Bond. "And enjoy some traveling and doing some of the things that I might not be able to do as a full-time commissioner. I'm happy about it. I think things always work out for the best, and this apparently, is the best."
Since consolidation passed on Tuesday night, Bechtel's term will run until January 2014, when the newly elected members of the county's single government body will begin their new terms.
For more election results, visit the 41NBC Decision 2012 page.