Copenhaver again

Mayor glad his work is appreciated

acvid:2417

After Mayor Deke Copenhaver made his victory speech Tuesday night, his supporters began to chant: "Deke for president! Deke for president!"

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Deke Copenhaver (right) and his wife, Malisa, press his campaign. He waved a sign from a Walton Way intersection Tuesday.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Deke Copenhaver (right) and his wife, Malisa, press his campaign. He waved a sign from a Walton Way intersection Tuesday.

Sounding a presidential note, the mayor said he'd wanted a mandate, and got one, even though he told his backers to give their money to charity rather than to him.

"When I see that $3 billion was committed to political campaign TV ads nationwide this year in this economy, 99 percent of which were negative ads, that's staggering to me," he said. "We've done it the right way with a positive campaign, not raising that kind of money."

As the crowd continued chanting, "Deke! Deke! Deke!," Brad Usry and others celebrating at the Polka Dot Pig Gastropub in Surrey Center hugged the mayor and each other.

Copenhaver wore the same gray plaid sport jacket he had worn at his two other victory parties. He said he is superstitious.

Earlier, he said he had visited 13 poll sites during the day and hoped people realize the hard work he has done the past five years. Apparently they did.

Augusta businessman David Steele said he is definitely a Copenhaver supporter, as is his daughter, Rebecca.

"I love the fact that Deke is a conciliator," he said. "He works to bring people together. He doesn't practice the politics of polarization. He has the best interests of all the people at heart."

Attorney Joe Neal Jr. agreed.

"I pretty much have known him forever, we've always been friends. He's got great leadership style. I think he's the best mayor we've had since we consolidated."

Outside the Gastropub, one of the attractions was an SUV with white shoe polish messages on it aimed at mayoral candidate Lori Davis, who campaigned for a crackdown on drug houses.

"Tell Lori Davis we have a great sheriff already. Go home."

By that time, the crowd was thinning out at Davis' house.

She acknowledged she didn't have much of a chance from the beginning, going against an incumbent. Copenhaver had the name recognition. Besides, she didn't raise much money, she said.

"I knew what I was up against. I'm not naïve," she said.

But she said she felt comfortable with the donations she received and that she doesn't feel like she owes any favors or that she is indebted to anyone.

Her next step is to pursue a change in Georgia law to hold "bad landlords" accountable for nuisance properties, she said.

Asked whether she plans to run again now that she has name recognition, Davis replied, "Who knows at this point?"

Even before all the votes were counted, many of Gil Gilyard's supporters had gone home.

About 15 lingered at the candidate's house, watching the national election results and talking politics. Gilyard was slightly ahead of Davis but a far stretch from Copenhaver.

"OK, two precincts left," he said. "That's not going to make much of a difference."

Staff Writers Kyle Martin and Tracey McManus contributed to this story.

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CharlesB
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CharlesB 11/03/10 - 01:28 am
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Congratulations DEKE!!!! I am

Congratulations DEKE!!!! I am glad the fringe minorities didn't get to vote you out. Keep on doing great for our city. I am proud to say you are my mayor!!!!

wildman
1222
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wildman 11/03/10 - 03:06 am
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Smart choice for Augusta, Ms.

Smart choice for Augusta, Ms. Davis needs to continue speaking up against the crime in the area. She should work with Deke on this issue.

mable8
2
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mable8 11/03/10 - 03:15 am
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Deke is fine as a Mayor, but

Deke is fine as a Mayor, but not as President. Congratulations on winning another term, Deke.

charliemanson
1
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charliemanson 11/03/10 - 04:29 am
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Congratulations.

Congratulations.

MysteryWriter
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MysteryWriter 11/03/10 - 05:18 am
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Welcome back, Mayor Deke!

Welcome back, Mayor Deke!

Riverman1
93717
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Riverman1 11/03/10 - 12:55 pm
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I'm not a sore loser and want

I'm not a sore loser and want to congratulate Mr. Copenhaver. I never had any doubt about the power of Deke's organization. He will continue to represent Augusta well.

Lori contributed to helping make Augusta a better city by bringing problems into the public eye that will force changes in leadership whether anyone believes it now or not. The election process lets us voice our frustrations with leadership in ways that force the leaders to realize there are problems and turn their energy to working on those problems.

Democracy at its best, right here in River City.

kareyclark
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kareyclark 11/03/10 - 07:06 am
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OK Deke, now that you have

OK Deke, now that you have won, how about a compromise, get a new City/County Administrator that knows what the heck he's doing.Fred has a blind eye for South Augusta. I really think you owe us that.

Little Lamb
49078
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Little Lamb 11/03/10 - 07:27 am
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Karey, I share your desire

Karey, I share your desire for a new City Administrator. But there are several things working against the removal of Russell. First, the upcoming term will be Copenhaver's last term. He cannot run again without a gap in service. Since he is now in his last term, he has no incentive to rock the boat seeking a new administrator, especially since he and Fred have many of the same qualities (e.g., a penchant for avoiding tough decisions, and talking out of several sides of the mouth). Second, the mayor cannot choose the City Administrator. The City Administrator serves at the pleasure of the County Commission. Third, even though South Augusta voted for Deke Copenhaver, he doesn't think he owes you a thing. If you write him a letter and ask for a reply, he will not answer you.

Little Lamb
49078
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Little Lamb 11/03/10 - 07:30 am
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I just noticed the photo

I just noticed the photo above. Didn't his mama teach him not to stand on the furniture? - - - - - especially somebody else's?

Techfan
6462
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Techfan 11/03/10 - 07:58 am
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I don't live in Richmond Co.

I don't live in Richmond Co. , but I hope y'all enjoy youir new ballpark.

CorporalGripweed
0
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CorporalGripweed 11/03/10 - 08:02 am
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Congrats Deke, But I beg to

Congrats Deke, But I beg to differ with the statement about the Sheriff.

SlapShot2
0
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SlapShot2 11/03/10 - 08:20 am
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Riverman I couldnt agree

Riverman I couldnt agree more. I know that some people are heart broken about Davis but their can be some good that comes from her campaign. She has brought attention to a subject(s) that need to be addressed.

CATFISHSTEW
14
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CATFISHSTEW 11/03/10 - 08:26 am
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Batter-Up......Play Ball !

Batter-Up......Play Ball !

Captain Awesome
0
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Captain Awesome 11/03/10 - 08:46 am
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Congratulations Deke!

Congratulations Deke!

floridasun
381
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floridasun 11/03/10 - 08:50 am
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Nice conciliatory post

Nice conciliatory post Riverman. Maybe you should move to Richmond County and then you could actually vote for the mayor of Augusta.
Congrats Deke. Keep up the good work!

Harrisburgsurvivor
2
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Harrisburgsurvivor 11/03/10 - 08:51 am
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Augustans lined up and drank

Augustans lined up and drank the Kool aid! R.I.P.

Iamacyclist
0
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Iamacyclist 11/03/10 - 09:19 am
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CharlesB, would hardly call

CharlesB, would hardly call nearly 40% of those that actually voted "fringe minorities". I would bet most of the 10% plus that gave Deke a mandate are the young future criminals of South Augusta and Harrisburg that are going to burglarize my house again in my older residential neighborhood on the hill.

Deke is a great guy, decent mayor, but hope he becomes more than just a "conciliator" between the affluent social hill folk and the rest of the county commission. We had the Ft. Gordon, MCG, SRS, Vogtle, etc, infrastructure before Deke; hopefully, a baseball stadium on prime riverfront property is not supposed to be the next. And...we don't need NO MO low paying call centers.

Congratulations Deke; time to take the bull by the horns :)

Lori Davis
1006
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Lori Davis 11/03/10 - 09:19 am
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Congratulations to Mayor

Congratulations to Mayor Copenhaver for his victory. Thanks to my family and friends who supported me throughout this process. Thanks to those of you who believed in my message and voted for me. This has been an incredible experience.

joebowles
104
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joebowles 11/03/10 - 09:55 am
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Lori, Thanks for bringing

Lori, Thanks for bringing many issues to the forefront. I look forward to helping you with the landlord issues.

Harrisburgsurvivor
2
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Harrisburgsurvivor 11/03/10 - 10:18 am
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When you have (KNOWN) drug

When you have (KNOWN) drug houses near your home and the operators have street gun fights ....it is always like waiting for the next shoe to drop! It is indeed a sad day for many people who live in Richmond County. I would be shocked if conditions improve. I have been working with local government for years and NOTHING has changed. Sad. The neighborhood closest to the Sheriffs department has even more drug houses. Can you say corruption?

Rolling Eyes
247
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Rolling Eyes 11/03/10 - 11:09 am
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Lori Davis, you're to be

Lori Davis, you're to be congratulated on a hard fought campaign. You did quite well for yourself on your first attempt. It'll be interesting to see what happens on your next (?) attempt...

Deke, congratulations on your win. Keep up the hard work!

countyman
21630
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countyman 11/03/10 - 11:27 am
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The re-election of the mayor

The re-election of the mayor will affect the citizens of South Augusta the most.

Six of the eleven projects in the Richmond County master plan are located in South Augusta... The Fall Line Farm is located in South Richmond County near the city of Blythe. The Oates Creek neighborhood splits between the inner city and inner South Augusta. Eight of the new projects are located in or near South Augusta.

The $1 million Marshall's office is under construction on Deans Bridge road.

The $25 million Vocational high school will be built near the Augusta Tech campus...

There is a multi-million residential development(Endinburgh Pointe) underway off Gordon Hwy/Milledgeville road. The master plan community features the Terrace at Endinburgh and Crest at Endinburgh.

Last week, the mayor & the South Augusta Redevelopment Board cut the ribbon on a newly rehabilitated home at on Miles Street in the Dover-Lyman neighborhood.

countyman
21630
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countyman 11/03/10 - 11:29 am
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Remember in 2011, the huge

Remember in 2011, the huge growth around South Augusta is still a major possibility..

BottleTek is looking at three sities in South Augusta near the industrial area along Mike Padgett Highway and Doug Bernard Parkway. The 100 milllion facility will create 100 high paying jobs..
http://fun-l-flo.com/

Janksowski Properties LLC completed a master plan for a 306 acre tract on the Savannah River just upstream from the Lock and Dam. The plan includes a marina, some commercial development and potentially 500 residential units."(Next to Augusta Regional airport)

Target, Chick Fil A, and Ruby Tuesday are intrested in coming to South Augusta...(Peach Orchard/I-520 interchange.)

countyman
21630
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countyman 11/03/10 - 11:42 am
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I don't think Gil Gilyard is

I don't think Gil Gilyard is getting his fair share of respect and acknowledgement. Mr. Gilyard received around the same number of votes compared to Lori Davis. While Lori Davis had 110% more of the media coverage in her favor. The Gilyard campaign needs to be commended for their grass roots efforts.

Harrisburgsurvivor
2
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Harrisburgsurvivor 11/03/10 - 11:40 am
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countyman...Good point about

countyman...Good point about South Augusta. Developers are foaming at the mouth to find a place to put mixed income housing and to gobble down any federal grants and loans that they can.... regardless of who it effects so long as they are making money. Never forget what Deke tried to do to Goshen!

ruudvonbaron
0
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ruudvonbaron 11/03/10 - 11:42 am
0
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Kudos to all of those who

Kudos to all of those who voted for Lori. Richmond County apparently wants more of the same ol' same ol'. Good luck with that.

Lori Davis
1006
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Lori Davis 11/03/10 - 11:48 am
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dbl post sorry!

dbl post sorry!

countyman
21630
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countyman 11/03/10 - 12:00 pm
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I don't know what development

I don't know what development you're reffering to. The proposed 306 acre new riverfront community in South Augusta. The development is going to form a new upscale town near the airport...

Deke wanted the stalled Village at Goshen to start construction again. It had nothing to do with mix-income housing. If I'm not mistaken the Village at Goshen is still sitting there unfinished.

CorporalGripweed
0
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CorporalGripweed 11/03/10 - 11:56 am
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Good point about the media

Good point about the media coverage aspect countyman. But the other side of the coin is Deke had five years to campaign, Mr Gilyard had four years to campaign since his last attempt. Lori only had four months for the electorate to decide if she was mayoral material or not. Granted she had more media coverage but still not bad for someone who was a political unknown a year ago.
One last thing "Faith without works is dead". The voters have faith in those they've elected. Now it's time for those elected to get to work fixing this county.

Rozzie2003
5
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Rozzie2003 11/03/10 - 12:17 pm
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Congratulate Deke. Keep up

Congratulate Deke. Keep up the good leadership and take the baseball stadium off of your agenda.

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