Mayoral candidates hit campaign trail, digitally

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Election Day for Macon-Bibb is just a little over a month away, candidates would usually be meeting voters face to face, but COVID-19 has mayoral candidates hitting the campaign trail, digitally.

Candidates are going from hand shakes and door-to-door visits to relying on shares and likes on social media.

“We had over 1,000 views last night, that reached more people than going door to door,” candidate Lester Miller said.

“It’s the world we live in now. I’m grateful for all of the outlets,” candidate Blake Sullivan said.

Candidates are utilizing Facebook, Zoom, and Google Hang.

“We’re using all of the technology we have available,” candidate Cliffard Whitby said.

“Facebook, mail pieces, phone calls, which is a little impersonal but during this COVID era is about the only way you can,” candidate Larry Schlesinger said.

Marc Whitfield says because he came into the race late, he’s trying to play catch up.

“I came in late. I have to rely on social media to introduce myself,” Whitfield said.

A major concern for candidates is reaching the elderly population that may not be on social media.

Whitby says his campaign includes reaching the elderly population through churches.

“We are dealing with techniques through the churches where we can communicate and drop information off for the seniors,” Whitfield said.

Schlesinger says he’s taking care of Macon-Bibb residents is taking precedent over his campaign.

“I believe I have a duty to the people I serve in District 2, as well as the rest of the county,” Schlesinger said.

Depending on who wins the elections, candidates agree and say helping small businesses and people get the resources they need to help the economy.

“I’ve already consulted with businesses around the country as well as the state, to let us know how we can recover from this, especially our local businesses. We will be able to do this. It’s going to be a rough first year, but we’ll get through this,”  Miller said.

” We will need to put all those numbers up there, websites, anything businesses will need to access to help them out,” Sullivan said.

“I believe having Macon-Bibb sponsoring the youth sports to generate some revenue. We have some of the best athletes in the world,” Whitfield said.

“We’re going to need to get our employees back to work. We’re going to need to get our businesses back open,” Schlesinger said.

“What I see happening is, we’re going to hit the ground running. We’re going to take advantage of this opportunity to revamp our community and I am so excited about the opportunities that exist with the right leadership,” Whitby said.

Candidates are encouraging voters to fill out the absentee ballot application. Election Day is May 19th.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.