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Lockett gets narrow win in District 5

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Political newcomer Bill Lockett won the District 5 seat on the Augusta Commission on Tuesday, defeating former Commissioner Bobby Hankerson by 54 votes.

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Bill Lockett shakes hands with supporter Allen Jackson.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Bill Lockett shakes hands with supporter Allen Jackson.

The race for the south Augusta district promised to be close, and it lived up to that promise. Mr. Lockett received 51.34 percent -- or 1,019 votes -- to Mr. Hankerson's 48.61 percent -- 965 votes.

Mr. Hankerson attributed his loss to being tag teamed by Mr. Lockett and Richmond County School Board District 5 candidate Patsy Scott, who "joined forces and put themselves on a ticket" that made it appear they were endorsed by the Board of Elections.

"They passed it out at the polls, and it was mailed out," he said. "With them doing that, joining forces together, that reinforced my opponent because he had Patsy Scott on the same ticket. But the people made the decision, and we have to accept that."

Numerous attempts to contact Mr. Lockett on Tuesday night were unsuccessful.

Mr. Hankerson said he would not run again in District 5 but might consider running for the Super District 9 seat.

Mr. Hankerson lost the District 5 seat to Calvin Holland by 11 votes in the 2005 election. Mr. Holland did not seek a second term and endorsed Mr. Lockett.

Mr. Lockett won the large precinct at Henry Brigham Center with 424 votes to Mr. Hankerson's 265 votes. Mr. Hankerson won the 506 precinct at Trinity CME Church, 281 to Mr. Lockett's 227 votes. Mr. Lockett won the precinct at Burns Memorial United Methodist Church by one vote, receiving 77 votes to Mr. Hankerson's 76 votes.

Throughout the campaign, Mr. Lockett repeatedly attacked Mr. Hankerson's record and called his plan to build an amusement park with a roller coaster in south Augusta "crazy talk."

Mr. Lockett is a proponent of the south Augusta master plan and redeveloping the abandoned Regency Mall

He said as a member of the commission he would lead by "good example" and could help diminish the racial divide on the Augusta Commission.

Mr. Lockett, 70, is a former U.S. Marine who later worked as a veterans' representative at the Georgia Department of Labor and for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Federal Investigative Services Division.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or

District 5 Commission Hankerson Lockett
501 Burns Memorial United Methodist Church, 2372 Lumpkin Road 115 96
502 Trinity CME Church, 2930 Glen Hills Drive 19 16
503 Henry Brigham Community Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road 265 424
504 Aquatics Center, 3157 Damascus Road 104 107
505 New Life Worship Center, 3550 Morgan Road 92 85
506 Trinity CME Church, 2930 Glenn Hills Drive 281 227
507 Minnick Park, 1850 Kissingbower Road 37 36
508 Bayvale Baptist Church, 2240 Bayvale Road 33 18
509 Bayvale Baptist Church, 2240 Bayvale Road 19 10
TOTALS 965 (49%) 1,019 (51%)
Comments (5) Add comment
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norilyn0719 11/04/09 - 10:20 am
Mr. Hankerson claims he lost

Mr. Hankerson claims he lost because Mr. Lockett and Mrs. Scott 'joined forces' to beat him.

He lost because the majority of the voters didn't have confidence in him nor his campaign. They saw his crazy 'amusement park talk' as a stunt to get elected. Why would we rehire him after we fired him 4 years ago?

Now that is some crazy talk.

FallingLeaves 11/04/09 - 11:29 am
norilyn0719. "Fired"???

norilyn0719. "Fired"??? Holland only won by 11 votes in 2005 over Hankerson. That isn't a landslide by any stretch of the imagination, so how do you see it as Hankerson being "fired"? And I STILL wish Hankerson had won then. We need to have a new term: "sore winners" for the people that vote for Holland and/or what seem to be his puppets. I wonder how many people that voted for Hankerson moved away in disgust and/or despair after Holland won last time? I wonder how many will move away now?

FallingLeaves 11/04/09 - 11:32 am
Also, I saw that ticket

Also, I saw that ticket Hankerson was talking about. I can't blame him for feeling that way about it. Seems like dirty pool to me.

sucram 11/04/09 - 12:25 pm
I agree the amusement park

I agree the amusement park was a bad strategy. Being the sixth vote to fire Teresa Smith also damaged him due to the lawsuit returning during an election. But Rev. Hankerson took Lockett for granted like he did Coach Holland four years ago. Both campaigns outdid him on the ground.

Captain Awesome
Captain Awesome 11/04/09 - 02:53 pm
A military man. I like him

A military man. I like him already.

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