Candidate Closeup: Willie Mays

By: Jonathan Martin
By: Jonathan Martin

October 27, 2005
He comes from a family of politicians and serving as mayor of Augusta is something that Willie Mays says he’s wanted to do for a while. And he got a shot at the job earlier than he ever thought. Only on News 12, hear from a man who says now that he has the experience, he’d like to stay around for another year.

“I by no means am the smartest person in this city that could hold this job. I make no mistake about me,” Mays said.

Willie Mays is a familiar face to many in Augusta, once serving as a commissioner and then sworn in as interim mayor after Bob Young resigned, now he’s ready to wear the title as mayor fulltime.

“I've had people ask me, in term of, are you serious about wanting to really do this. This is a tough time to be mayor,” Mays said.

And with one mayor just leaving and another to be elected a year from now, he says it’s critical that voters choose experience at the polls.

“Hypothetically, we could get four mayors in a year and a half. I think that type of instability would not be good for the city,” Mays said.

He’d like to strengthen medical partnerships for seniors and promote economic growth, and says the penny sales tax is a big part of it all.

“I’m out there campaigning for SPLOST just as I’m out there campaigning for myself,” Mays said.

Though most polls show Mays in a significant lead over his opponents, the 54-year-old funeral home owner says he’s not getting overconfident.

“I’m telling everyone we’re running fifth in a four-way race and not to pay attention to the polls,” Mays said.

He’s aware that he’s received some criticism including last month when he accepted the Democratic Party endorsement for a nonpartisan race.

“I've never been a crybaby about who supported somebody else,” Mays said.

He wants folks to know that the office of mayor involves much more than cutting red ribbons. And though one of his opponents has accused him of breaking the rules by speaking over his time limit, causing of lengthy commission meetings, he says he’ll let his track record speak for itself.

“The time has basically been cut in half in terms of what we've been doing. But, i've still been able to get the mayor's point across,” Mays said.

So, has he gotten his point across and is it enough to stay around for another year? You decide.

More about Willie Mays:

Willie Mays
Age: 54
Occupation: Owner of Mays Mortuary
Community Involvement: Augusta City Council,
1979-1987;Richmond County Commission, 1990-1996;
Augusta-Richmond County Commission 1996-2005

Would you sign the behavior contract put together by the community group CSRA Help if elected?
In terms of signing a contract, dealing with it, I've signed the one I'm going to sign. I am not even considering it.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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