Thursday, September 23, 2010

Baker, Tomlinson Seen as Favorites for Mayor of Columbus on Nov. 2

A race that's has been off my radar a bit & that is the Columbus Mayoral Race which will take place on November 2 as residents of Columbus seek a repalcement for outgoing mayor Jim Wetherington.

The candidates are: Zeph Baker, Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Paul Olsen & Wayne Anthony

Baker who challenged State Rep Calvin Smyre as a indepdnent back in 2008 is looking to become the first African-American mayor in the city's history. He is a graduate of Carver High School & 1999, Zeph received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Columbus State University. A widower, Zeph is a proud and devoted father of three children. Led by his passion for children, and respect for education, Zeph founded two education centers, where he currently serves as Director.

Tomlinson is native Georgian, moved to Columbus in 1994 from Atlanta and married Trip Tomlinson, who was raised in Columbus graduating from Hardaway High School. Since the year 2000, Teresa has been a member of Columbus' Metropolitan Planning Organization's Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), which studies issues of regional growth and provides citizen input on important state and municipal transportation decisions. She serve two years as the CAC's Chair and as its representative on the Planning Organization's Technical Committee and Policy Committee.

Anthony is was born in Columbus and raised on a poultry and livestock farm. He attended Midland Elementary, Arnold Junior High and Jordan High where he was Student Body President for his school and the entire Bi-City. His education includes a B.A. from Asbury College, a Masters of Divinity from Emory University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Georgia. Plus, he is a Professional Financial Planner as a graduate of the College of Financial Planning in Denver and he is the recipient of the Certificate of Recognition from the Georgia Municipal Training Institute.

Wayne’s corporate management experience is extensive. He managed a KFC while working on his M.B.A. His fast food restaurant went from losing money to a profitable, award-winning operation. He was then promoted to corporate RJR Nabisco/KFC in Atlanta where he was responsible for multiple restaurants, annual revenues of $10 million and over 250 employees. For eighteen years, Wayne served as Director of the Business Resource Center, providing financial counseling and management training to more than 150 organizations.

Olsen calls himself the "Real" conservative in the race. Paul came to Columbus via Ft. Benning in 1978 and purchased his first home here in 1980. Paul is originally from Iowa, where he came from a large farming family of seven children. After graduating from Ft. Dodge Senior High School in 1969, he volunteered to serve his country in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. He is a decorated Vietnam Veteran earning the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Ribbon, plus numerous other Medals.

He served his country honorably for 37 years collectively on Active and Reserve duty retiring at the rank of Major. He was also awarded the Meritorious Medal, Parachutist Badge among numerous other Medals and Awards. During those years he served in many numerous leadership roles gaining experience and knowledge as a Company and Field Command Staff Officer and Battalion Commander. He will enhance our city's rapport with the expansion of the Armor School.

This race will most likely go to a runoff, with Baker & either Tomlinson or Anthony in the runoff. Olson looks like a impressive candidate, but it will come down to who can capture the African-American vote in this race.

The Darkhorse in this race is Wayne Anthony. Wayne has a proven record (40 YRS) of serving the community and leading organizations that transform individuals, families, neighborhoods and cities such as:

-Founder and President, House of Heroes
-Past President, Leadership Morality Institute
-President, Columbus Mental Health Network
-Leader, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
-Past President, SHRM Columbus
-Past President, SHRM Georgia
-Minister, Asbury United Methodist Church
-Past President, Columbus High PTA
-Past President, Arnold Middle School PTA
-Student Body President, Asbury College
-Student Body President, Jordan High School

Anthony is the one to keep an eye on in this race. My many accounts, Tomlinson is the leader in the race, while Baker is right on her heels. Anthony is a minister at Asbury United Methodist Chruch, which is locate near the southside of columbus, which will give him a advantage at picking off a chunk of the AA vote away from Baker. Stay tunes for more on this race.

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