Originally created 04/03/02

Williams joins race for mayor



More than 200 politically minded people, including two former Augusta mayors and at least one other announced mayoral candidate, were at a Richmond County Committee for Good Government meeting Tuesday night when Robin Williams announced his candidacy for the mayor's seat.

The former Georgia House representative mailed off paperwork to the Richmond County Board of Elections earlier Tuesday, as expected, allowing him to collect campaign contributions for the November race.

"I've had a lot of people ask me why," Mr. Williams told the political club at Julian Smith Casino. "I'm proud of this city, and I think I can bring a voice and some leadership."

He said his goals for the office are to attract industry and jobs to the Augusta area, while cultivating communication and compromise from the Augusta Commission members.

Former Augusta Mayor Charles A. DeVaney, who was among those in the audience, said that in the four times he has run for the seat, this is the earliest he can remember candidates announcing their intentions to run.

"I think it's symptomatic of the discontent with how voters feel about our government," Mr. DeVaney said.

Mayoral candidate Brian Green and former Augusta Mayor Lewis A. "Pop" Newman also attended.

In addition, observers said, early announcements indicate the increased need for name recognition and monetary support in what is expected to be a hotly contested race.

Reach Heidi Coryell Williams at (706) 823-3215 or heidi.williams@augustachronicle.com.