Columbia County voters Tuesday approved term limits for county commissioners and Lee Anderson’s candidacy for the 12th Congressional seat.
Though the term limits measure passed, Anderson’s popularity at home wasn’t enough to get him elected districtwide.
The special referendum to impose term limits on county commissioners passed with nearly 86 percent of the vote.
Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross, who initiated the idea, said he asked his fellow commissioners their opinion before starting the process of getting the item placed on local ballots.
The measure goes into effect after the next round of elections. Commissioners will be limited to two, four-year terms.
Lee Anderson’s election night party never really had an opportunity to get started. As results started to roll in, the mood went from celebratory to sullen as it became evident that while he carried Columbia County, neighboring Richmond County would prove to be a significant issue that, in the end, he just could not overcome.
Georgia Sen. Bill Jackson watched the results roll in and said that while Anderson failed to win the election, he felt the people of District 12 and, more specifically, Columbia County, were the evening’s true losers.
“It means we’ll have one less representative in the Congress,” he said. “It also means Columbia County is losing that representation. We’re losing someone with that connection to the people here.”
As the evening progressed, cautiously optimistic conversation continued until Anderson took to the podium with his wife Donna by his side.
“The people have spoken,” he said during his concession to Democratic incumbent John Barrow. “And it looks like it isn’t going to happen tonight.”
Afterward, Anderson said his only regret was that he hadn’t taken the time to meet more of the people he had wanted to represent. He said the business of politics precluded him from spending as much time as he should have talking to the constituents of District 12.
“That’s the only thing I would have done differently,” he said. “I would have gotten out and seen more people. Grass roots, that’s what I am. I wish I had been able to spend more time doing that and less time on the phone raising money. People need to see the person, not a television ad.”