Mayoral Candidate Close-Up: Deke Copenhaver

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October 2, 2006

News 12 got mayoral candidate and incumbent Deke Copenhaver out of his office and out to the Riverwalk for a Candidate Close-Up.

Last year, he was the new guy we didn't know much about.

But after almost a year as mayor, he hopes you know a lot more.

"I can always sell something I would buy myself," Copenhaver says of Augusta.

It was just a year ago Deke Copenhaver was on the campaign trail.

Now he's at it again.

"The next four years are going to be good ones for this city," he said.

And he's hoping he'll still be leading Augusta during those times.

"I will continue that the next four years, to reach out to the community, and I'm very proud of that."

The 38-year-old says he's done more than talk during his one year in office, telling us he's walked the walk.

He touted the announcements of the Xethanol plant opening in Augusta and the approval of a major high-rise condo project as his major accomplishments, all while wrestling with a big bad budget.

"I've been proactive, I've cut $30,000 out of my own budget," he said. "I'm doing everything I can to ensure we overcome the deficit issue."

Just like last year, he'll face three opponents...and while he says some are making it an issue, this race, he says, is not about race.

"We need to move past that issue. You should not vote for somebody based on the color of their skin, you should vote on who can do the best job."

And though the power of incumbency often prevails in politics, Copenhaver says they'll be no vacation before victory.

"I take nothing for granted, and I will tell you I will fight like I'm 20 points behind."

Copenhaver says if re-elected, he'll continue things he's started, like the prayer breakfast, bus tours, and diversity training.