Small town, big voter turnout for Climax Mayor Race - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Small town, big voter turnout for Climax Mayor Race

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

CLIMAX,  GA (WALB) - Election day is quite different in small towns where only 300 people live.  In Climax more than half the population is registered to vote.

Unlike some other parts of south Georgia they had a huge turnout Tuesday for the mayor's race.  I stopped by the poll office at 2 o'clock and 80 votes were already in, that's nearly one-third of the town.  And the voting wasn't over yet.

With a population just under 300, Climax is the definition of small town politics.

"One vote can decide who wins and loses, that's how it is," said Mayor Liz Phillips.

Mayor Liz Phillips is up for re-election this year. Typically in such a small town, no one runs against the mayor. But this year Charles Hadsock decided to go for it. He wants to see change and says he's the man for the job.

"We need a city government that really responds to the needs of the people and our citizens need to be more involved in government actions," said Hadsock.

With only 183 registered voters, he knows every single vote counts.

"I've made sure I talked to every person, every house in the city," he said.

Good practice, because in Climax the mayor is more than just a politician.

"I just like helping people. I pick pecans from people's yards, I'll clean their houses," said Phillips.

"You have daily involvement with people and you know everyone by their first name. You're never talking with strangers," said Hadsock.

And the saying keep your friends close, and your enemies closer? Phillips and Hadsock take it literally.  Not only do the candidates attend the same church, they're neighbors.

An exciting race. Lots of eager voters.

"We were very surprised to have this large of a turn out, but it's a good thing, a great thing," said poll manager Jenelle Eaton.

But how are the candidates feeling?

"I feel good," said Hadsock.

"I told them to pray about it, and what the Lord says, I would appreciate your vote but whatever you feel, just go vote," said Phillips.

Quite the opposite of cut throat. Some might say, it's just a friendly day at the polls.

This isn't Charles Hadsock's first time running for Mayor. He ran eight years ago and lost by, you guessed it, one vote.

City Council races are also drawing a lot of attention in Climax. Six people are running to fill two seats.

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