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WTVM hosts mayoral debate at DoubleTree in Columbus

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 11:51 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Candidates for Mayor of Columbus went head to head in an exclusive WTVM News Leader 9 debate, just two months before voters go to the polls to make their choice.

Incumbent Mayor Skip Henderson and challenger, businessman, John Anker faced off on important issues in the city including crime, the economy, trash and more.

Columbus residents were also curious about the state of the city’s economy and alternative energy resources.

The non-partisan debate was sponsored by the Muscogee County Republican Party, giving voters a chance to see where both candidates stood on some important issues.

Many of the questions, which came from News Leader 9 viewers, focused on increasing crime in the Fountain City.

The questions also included what each candidate would do in the short and long run about guns, gangs and violence.

“I think we ought to be calling out to state, to the governor, to the GBI so a gang task force can come in on the short term,” said Anker.

“We have a gang task force,” said Henderson. “There’s a gang task force that exists in our Sheriff’s Office and there’s also a gang intelligence unit that resides in our police department.”

Henderson added a breakdown of the 63 individuals murdered last year.

“The 63 murders we had last year, about 21 of those were for domestic violence and then we have about eight or nine that were drug-related and about 10 were gang related,” said Henderson.

Another issue voters wanted to hear about was the economy and how each candidate planned to help Columbus grow.

Anker said as an experienced businessman he would bring a lot to the table.

“The mayor talks about what we’ve done,” said Anker. “I talk about what we’re going to do.”

“I talk about some of the things we’ve done because it’s pretty incredible that we’ve done it within a year because we had two years ripped from under us because of COVID,” said Henderson.

Voters will go to the polls to decide the next mayor of Columbus on May 24th.

If you missed the mayoral debate, click here to watch.

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