Lockett gets narrow win in District 5

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

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 sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

District 5 CommissionHankersonLockett
501 Burns Memorial United Methodist Church, 2372 Lumpkin Road11596
502 Trinity CME Church, 2930 Glen Hills Drive1916
503 Henry Brigham Community Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road265424
504 Aquatics Center, 3157 Damascus Road104107
505 New Life Worship Center, 3550 Morgan Road9285
506 Trinity CME Church, 2930 Glenn Hills Drive281227
507 Minnick Park, 1850 Kissingbower Road3736
508 Bayvale Baptist Church, 2240 Bayvale Road3318
509 Bayvale Baptist Church, 2240 Bayvale Road1910
TOTALS965 (49%)1,019 (51%)

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