That's the simple but utterly profound message from Tuesday's mayoral race, in which two newcomers - Deke Copenhaver and Helen Blocker-Adams - appear to have changed the political climate in Augusta.
Blocker-Adams, a long- shot candidate running on a shoestring, captured an im- pressive 22.56 percent of the vote - falling just an eyelash short of Copenhaver's 25.05 percent.
Copenhaver came out of nowhere to finish second, and now will face top vote-getter and interim Mayor Willie Mays in a Dec. 6 runoff. The winner will serve the last year of former Mayor Bob Young's unexpired term, after he left for a job with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Both Copenhaver and Blocker-Adams believed in themselves, and convinced thousands of others to do so, in the face of long odds: Mays and the fourth mayoral candidate, former Commissioner Tommy Boyles, were longtime government officials with wide name recognition. Copenhaver and Blocker-Adams overcame that to beat Boyles and deny the interim mayor even 40 percent of the vote.
Copenhaver also came off the hill to do battle in south Augusta, Blocker-Adams' stronghold, and won. He credits hard work, numerous campaign incursions and a down-to-earth sincerity with winning over south Augusta.
But most of all, he believed.
And now so do lots of others.
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