Political Newcomer Files Paperwork in the Macon-Bibb Mayoral Race


Katie Linkner

Stanley B. Stewart filed paperwork Nov. 6 indicating his intent to run for mayor of Macon-Bibb County.

Stanley B. Stewart  filed formal documentation of his intent to run for mayor of the city of Macon. He said he plans to attract investment and raise city employee salaries to benefit the area. 

The general election will be May 19, 2020 and several other candidates have also declared their intention to run including Lester Miller, the president of the Bibb County School Board, Larry Schleisinger and Virgil Watkins, both Bibb county commissioners, and Verbin Weaver, who is Bibb County Democratic Party vice-chair, and a handful of lesser known candidates. 

“We can be that city,” Stewart said. “Shining on the Ocmulgee with hope for all, for promise for all, but above everything, requiring that all do their part to make us safe, to make us prosperous and to make us one Macon for the 21st century.” 

Stewart says the statistics from the FBI in 2018, ranking Macon-Bibb as third highest in Georgia for violent crime and first for property crimes are unflattering, but those obstacles can be overcome through ambitious policy initiatives and a vigorous reinstatement of communal support.

Stewart plans to increase sheriff’s precincts, an idea he said is endorsed by Bibb County Sheriff David Davis. He also has the idea of making the precincts community centers where youth can come, which would keep vulnerable young people out of trouble and bridge the gap of trust between the police and the community. 

“I had this idea that you not just build a police precinct, but also build fun things along with it and educational things along with it…it could house a basketball court, it could house a baseball field or something like that to bring the community closer together,” Stewart said.

Stewart said he plans to make Central Georgia an economic and logistical hub that will revolutionize the city’s economy through transportation investment. He proposed a plan to make Macon an inland port due to its location in the center of the state and its proximity to the Port of Savannah and the Atlanta area. 

“My idea to connect Macon with the Port of Savannah, and thus the rest of the world… more cargo will come to our shores and thus it has to navigate our country and that is where Macon and its inland ports come into play,” Stewart said.

Stewart also wants to utilize Macon’s rich music heritage to make the city a musical tourist destination. Paying homage to the deep history of music in the city, such as Little Richard Penniman, Otis Redding, The Allman Brothers Band, and Jason Aldean, he envisions a musical tourism site he calls “Musicville USA” to go in the old Transit Authority complex on Riverside Drive. He said he would like to attract businesses such as Hard Rock Cafe and Dave and Buster’s to establish a presence there. He notes that the location is perfect since it overlooks the Ocmulgee River and is right off I-75.

“There are a lot of different things here we can build tours around to bring people here, but I’ve always said you can’t just advertise here in Macon, you’ve got to go outside of Macon so people know you’re here,” Stewart said.

Stewart said that there has been a boom in defense investment surrounding the area of Robins Air Force Base. Defense giants such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, as well as multiple colleges, have offices in Warner Robins, and Stewart plans to channel the investment, from the notably more affluent Warner Robins, to the city of Macon and create a “technology corridor” to benefit the city. 

Stewart says his level of care for people puts him ahead of the other candidates running.

“That’s my way of doing it, win or lose,” he said. “You know, I’m going to do my best. I’m going to put forth an effort.”