Gary Bechtel resigns from commission, announces plan to run for Georgia House seat

Former Commissioner Gary Bechtel resigned from Macon-Bibb County Commission on March 5 and announced his plan to run for District 141 for the Georgia House of Representatives/Evan Watson (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Former Macon-Bibb County Commissioner and Bibb County Board of Education member Gary Bechtel filed paperwork on Monday to run for the state seat recently left vacant by Allen Peake.

Bechtel's run for District 141 for the Georgia House of Representatives caused him to resign from his commission seat. He says that vacant seats aren't very common and feels that now is the right time for him to run for the position.

Bechtel has over five years of experience with the Macon-Bibb County Commission and 12 years as a member of the county school board. He believes that his prior history in government and serving the people of Monroe and north Bibb counties qualifies him to be an effective advocate for those groups.

The former commissioner added that he'd like to continue the work Allen Peake has done, including pushing for the legalization of medical cannabis.

Bechtel stopped by Macon-Bibb County Commission's Tuesday night meeting to say goodbye and thank them for years of service. He believes the group has the skills to overcome future problems for the county while he takes on new challenges.

"I'm very aware of the partnership that the state has with local government. I've worked on a lot of issues as it relates to transportation, healthcare, taxes - things like that. I think I can add a lot. I think I can hit the ground effectively. I think I can find a place up there where I can be effective for Macon-Bibb County very quickly," he said.

On Tuesday commissioners approved a resolution for a special election to fill the rest of Bechtel's unexpired term as District One Commissioner.

Mayor Reichert and commission reported that they're waiting on news from the state to see if they can legally hold that special election this May. If not, the election will likely be held in November.

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