MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The U.S. Department of Justice's decision to delay the Macon-Bibb County consolidated government election is both a blessing and a curse for candidates running for office. They say they will be working hard to win your vote no matter when the DOJ decides you can cast your ballot.
Don't expect to see campaign signs around the city and county taken down anytime soon. Candidates who are running for office are learning a lesson on flexibility.
"The plan will be the same, we'll just implement it at a different date," mayoral candidate C. Jack Ellis said.
Ellis says we don't need non-partisan elections. He believes the Georgia General Assembly went against voters' wishes.
"The people voted for partisan elections and they they saw fit the very first day, the very first day of the legislative session to change it," Ellis said. "That means we were hoodwinked and bamboozled and we don't take too kindly to that."
But District 4 commission candidate Theron Ussery says we should drop the partisan politics. He calls the Justice Department's delay unfair.
"It's going to slow everything down and all the work you've done so far, you got to start all over again when they make up their minds and that's a big disappointment," Ussery said.
Mayoral candidate Charles Bishop agrees. He says voters shouldn't cast their ballots based on D's and R's. He believes this hold up will cost candidates.
"It just makes it a lot more expensive to run a campaign and it sort of cripples you," Bishop said during a phone interview. "Putting off the election basically gave an advantage to the office holders because it costs the people who are seeking office a lot more to get media time."
Macon Mayor Robert Reichert says he is waiting until the time is right to ramp up his campaign. His main goal is to make sure we have a mayor and nine member commission seated by January 1, 2014.
"The new government will be effective, the justice department pre-cleared the consolidation so that parts going to be effected," Riechert said. "Now we have to get the elections done so we have people ready to hold those offices."
Reichert says it could take weeks to get all the paperwork the DOJ requested which would push back elections to later this fall.
Stay with 41NBC and 41NBC.com for updates on this developing story.