Runoff election for MWA chairman happening Tuesday

Gary Bechtel, Desmond Brown

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— Runoff elections are happening across the state Tuesday. This includes the race for Macon Water Authority chairman in Macon-Bibb County.  During the May election, no candidate got more than 50% of the vote.  So the two candidates are preparing to face off on Tuesday, June 21st. 

The two candidates in the running are Desmond Brown and Gary Bechtel.

Bechtel received 47% of the vote in may. He previously served as a Macon Bibb County Commissioner, and he served on the Macon Water Authority as a County Appointee for a year. He also says his business experience will be a plus if elected to the role. 

“I want to make certain that we do a good job with storm water. South Bibb has had a lot of problems with flooding, that’s our priority,” Bechtel explained. “We need long term plans to expand our sewer service, and we need to evaluate our infrastructure.”

Bechtel believes he’s the right person for the job compared to his opponent.

“It’s a very very clear choice. Do you want ethical leadership? Or do you want someone who will more than likely take advantage of this position? Like he did with his district position,” Bechtel said.

What Bechtel is referring to is Brown’s arrest back in February when he was held in contempt of Superior Court in a civil case. He also faced an investigation in January while serving as a Macon Water Authority District 2 Board Member for a conflict of interest.

We asked Brown for a response to those issues and he believes voters see past them.

“The people in District 2 are saying they don’t believe the banana news media and that’s why they voted for me. I’m thankful, and I’m excited for the people I represented in District 2 because they know me,” Brown said.

Brown received 30% of the vote in May. He says his focus is improving the Water Authority labor force, adjusting storm water fees, and upgrading infrastructure.

“I have been blowing the whistle about needing infrastructure repairs especially on Log Cabin Drive that just happened,” Brown said. “So please look at my experience, look at my ability to find the problems, and give solutions.”

Early voting for this election ended on Friday. Your last day to vote is on Tuesday. Polls open at 7 A.M. and close at 7 P.M. 

To check your registration status and your precinct, you can go to the Georgia Secretary of State My Voter Page.

Categories: Bibb County, Elections, Featured, Local News, Unpublished, WMGT