More than 600 people left Richmond County in 2013

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News12 First at Five/ 3 27,2014

AUGUSTA, Ga (WRDW) -- More people have been moving out of Richmond County than moving in, according to U.S. Census data.

News 12 first reported Columbus is on track to replace Augusta as Georgia's second largest city.

We talked with a few of the mayoral hopefuls who want to keep that from happening.

"The title of that will continue until 2020," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

"We are not interested in being second best. We want Augusta to be the premier city of the state of Georgia," said Senator Hardie Davis.

Census estimates continue to show the population for Augusta Richmond County is dropping.

In a special assignment we took a closer look at the numbers for 2012 and found Columbus grew by 4.5 percent while Augusta only grew by one percent.

The 2013 data shows Muscogee County added 4,000 people while Richmond County lost more than 600 in one year.

"They've had a lot of growth there and Columbus is fortunate that they've got a number of fortune 500 headquarters there," Davis said.

"We have to address these issues head on. We can't act like the situation is non-existent," Mayoral Candidate Helen Blocker-Adams said.

She said it's all about the city's image.

"It's all about perception. If the people have trust in our county government which now they don't," she said.

Mason and Davis said it's all about the growth that's coming.

"When you look at the prosperity that's coming to these area with Cyber Command or whether it's the jobs taking place at plant Voglte," Davis said.

"One week out of the year is what we are known for. We have 50 other weeks where we are not touting what we are good at," Mason said.

It will be a major challenge no matter who wins the election.

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