Candidate Closeup: Deke Copenhaver

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October 26, 2005
He majored in political science at Augusta State University and has worked in the city for many years. Now at the age of 37, Deke Copenhaver says he’s ready to be mayor.

Deke Copenhaver says he’s got more than a catchy name.

“This is one issue I’ve had on the campaign trail is just trying to teach people how to pronounce my name,” said Copenhaver.

He’s says he’s got fresh ideas.

“I’m young, I’m energetic and I just see a need in the community and I go after it and try to fix it,” Copenhaver said.

For years he’s been in charge of the city’s greenspace program. Now he’d like to become mayor and attract new businesses to the area, but he says that starts with cleaning up the city.

“If you’re looking for a job, you put on your best suit. We need to have the community looking like the Garden City,” Copenhaver said.

Copenhaver wants to restore faith in local government and bridge gaps between political, social and racial lines.

“I get so tired of hearing people choosing sides and saying well, it’s the white commissioners and the black commissioners,” Copenhaver said.

He’d like to unify the community and he told News 12 that political parties backing certain candidates only leads to more divisiveness.

“In a non-partisan race, for a local party to endorse an official, I think it’s the wrong thing to do,” Copenhaver said.

His walk on the campaign trail has been accompanied with starting new projects. One in particular is a park on 15 acres of land near Regency Mall for children in the community. He says he has a new vision, and though he may be the youngest candidate, it doesn’t hinder him from doing the job.

“I guess age depends on who you ask. I don’t, I’m pushing 40, I’ll be 38 next month. I don’t think 37 is too young by any means,” Copenhaver said.

Deke says he comes from humble beginnings, learning the value of hard work.

“The perception of me as some rich boy with a golden spoon in my mouth is way off base,” Copenhaver said.

So is Deke Copenhaver the refreshing change that Augusta needs? You decide.

More about Deke Copenhaver:

Deke Copenhaver

Occupation: Executive Director of Central Savannah River Land Trust

Community Service: Serves on boards of Family Y of Metro Augusta, the Augusta Museum of History, and St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation.

Q: Why do you think the City Administrator should have more power?

A: We’re paying him a good salary. I think you ought to free his hands to where he can hire and fire the staff he needs.