COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Georgia voters will head to the ballot box in about two months for the primary elections that will be held on May 20, 2014. In Columbus, the race for mayor is heating up as incumbent Teresa Tomlinson and her opponent Colin Martin hit the campaign trail.
Mayor Tomlinson had her kick-off event on Macon Rd. on March 1 to talk about her vision for the city. Countless number of people attended the event and purchased Mayor Tomlinson's campaign T-shirts, signs and free barbeque.
"We wanted to show the celebration of the community and all we have accomplished these past three years," Mayor Tomlinson said. "But we also wanted to talk about what we will be accomplishing for the next four years. Really, this is all about having a big celebration of the community. We wanted to show that we have great momentum, and we want to keep it going."
Just like three years ago, Mayor Tomlinson is continuing to push for more growth for the city.
"It's been phenomenal three years," Mayor Tomlinson said. "We have been able to create more jobs for the city. Unemployment dropped in Columbus. We went from 9.8 percent to 7.6 percent, and we still have a long way to go, but good changes are happening."
Mayor Tomlinson said some projects take longer than others to come together.
"It takes a while to fix some things, like the revitalization of the South Columbus," Mayor Tomlinson explained. "We are working on few projects like street scraping in South Columbus, but some of these projects can take a couple of years."
On the other hand, mayoral candidate Colin Martin officially kicked off his campaign in Jan. 9. He's planning on having an open house on the week of March 3rd to reveal his public safety plan.
"Crime affects all of us. Crime is not just a statistic issue," Martin explained. "When a mother does not feel safe for her children at her home, then there is a problem. People pay one percent sales tax, and 70 percent goes to public safety. People want to feel safe in their homes."
Martin spoke and met with various people in the city to know their top concerns. Crime was number one on his list.
"Right now, many people feel like property crime is on the rise in the north part of the city, and violence is continuing to rise in the south part of Columbus," Martin said. "People want this to end."
According to Columbus State University's recent crime report, the last three years in Columbus experienced lower crime rates than it did about five years ago. Mayor Tomlinson said well-developed communities can help reduce crime rates. However, Martin will share his strategy to stop crime this coming week.
If you're planning on voting for Mayor on May 20, 2014, visit the website at http://www.columbusga.org/elections/ for more information.