Columbus Mayor gives insight into 2nd term day after Election Day

Public Safety takes precedence for Mayors 2nd Term in Office.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The incumbent comes out on top in one of the biggest races in the Fountain City.

Tuesday’s election results for the Mayor of Columbus reveal a majority of citizens chose to go with the experience of Skip Henderson over the willful challenger John Anker.

The mayor told News Leader 9 that after a late-night watching the numbers closely for the mayor’s race, he’s back in the office today to do the job the citizens elected him to do.

After several months of campaigning, the dust has settled, and the people of Columbus have spoken.

Skip Henderson comes out on top against local businessman John Anker with 62 percent of more than 30,000 votes -- no time for celebrating though, for the public servant of 25 years.

He told News Leader 9, that he’s ready to tackle some key issues on his agenda.

“We had 37% percent that did not vote for us. They voted for another candidate. We understand that we owe those folks our very best when it comes to trying to represent them in what they want to see Columbus try and grow into.”, said Henderson. “Truthfully, we won’t wait until January 1st. We’re going to be working on them right now. I was in the office this morning at 9 o’clock. Late-night as you well know. Job one for us, the way we see it, is public safety.“

Losing the support of the Fraternal Order of Police a week before Election Day, following public outcry from group members about leadership within the Columbus Police Department, the mayor said listening to police takes precedence during his second term in office.

“The members basically stated they can not endorse a failing administration anymore.”, said Christy Edinfield during a press conference to announce the group’s endorsement of challenging John Anker on May 18.

Henderson said he and Police Chief Freddie Blackmon have put together a retention committee to listen to grievances within the police department.

“It was a proactive management tool that was used by the chief and by the command staff to go out and ask what would a really good work environment look like. Some of the things you don’t like hearing but you need to hear because it’s the way that you can improve.”, said Henderson.

The mayor says he wants to continue to build up the numbers of law enforcement. In addition, he adds as he also wants to work to provide more widespread access to health care and eliminate blight properties within the community.

News Leader 9 also spoke with John Anker over the phone.

He was supposed to host a party today following the election results, however, he had to postpone it until next week due to the weather.

Nevertheless, he doesn’t consider his loss a loss for the citizens because he feels their voices were still heard.

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