Warner Robins runoff sees big turnout, historic win
Warner Robins is starting a new chapter at the beginning of next year.
WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Warner Robins is starting a new chapter at the beginning of next year.
That’s when Mayor-Elect LaRhonda Patrick will take office. Patrick will make history as the first woman and person of color elected as Warner Robins’ mayor.
Patrick says she feels empowered, but also has a strong sense of responsibility.
“Certain barriers we thought were there are not there,” she said. “You just have to have courage and faith to step out there and try. That’s exactly what I did, that’s what we did, and that’s what anyone can do.”
The runoff race also had a rare increase in voter turnout compared to the day of the General Election.
1,538 more people voted in the runoff election than in the General Election.
Andrew Holland, Election Registration Assistant for the Houston County Board of Elections, says they were pleased with the increased turnout.
“When there’s not a state or federal candidate on the ballot, turnout is always going to be lower,” he said. “But for the people in Warner Robins to show so much interest in voting in this runoff election is great.”
Councilman Larry Curtis is happy with the results and says it was time for a change.
Curtis feels Patrick’s experience as a local attorney and city attorney for Fort Valley is valuable to Warner Robins.
“Some of the problems we’ve gotten ourselves into, I know with her experience as a municipal attorney she will be able to help us get out of those problems,” Curtis said.
Patrick says her first priority is meeting all city department heads and staff members.
She says Tuesday’s victory is just one step in a long process to make Warner Robins the best of the best.
The mayor-elect says she’ll bring community, transparency and legacy to the mayor’s office.
“There are going to be hiccups,” she said. “There are going to be set backs, but we have what it takes and we’re going to move forward. We’re going to get over those challenges and make a better future for us and our children.”
Patrick takes office on January 1. She says her team is working on a transition plan.