Liakakis, Johnson Speak on Runoff - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/05/03

Liakakis, Johnson Speak on Runoff

Dr. Otis Johnson Dr. Otis Johnson
Pete Liakakis Pete Liakakis

Who will be savannah's next mayor? After last night's election, the race is now down to two. Pete Liakakis and Otis Johnson were separated by only about a hundred votes. Now, both candidates are gearing up for a runoff election in less than three weeks. WTOC spoke with both candidates today, and both men say they're not resting on their laurels. The real race starts right now, and one thing neither candidate has is a lot of time.

"We have a game plan that has brought us safely thus far," said Dr. Johnson. After a rousing finish on election night, Johnson is already meeting with his team, shaping their plan of action. "There is no time to relax now. We have to run harder and faster than we did to get to this point."

Downtown, Pete Liakakis and his campaign are also planning strategy. "We've got three weeks in this campaign and I want to make sure I cover all the bases," he said.

Although he finished first, he knows less than a hundred votes separate him from his opponent. "If you think you're going to rest or something like that, that could be a serious mistake," he said.

The ones who really won't be resting are the volunteers. Angelyne Johnson with the  Johnson campaign told us, "I think people are just energized and ready to do what needs to be done." And Ken Seymour with Liakakis said, "We're putting everything into this one because what counts is the next three weeks."

The top concern for both candidates is making sure voters get out to the polls, especially with a runoff election just two days before Thanksgiving. "It may cause a problem, but what we're going to do is encourage people to get their absentee ballots if they're going to be out," said Johnson.

"I think that is going to be the biggest challenge: to make sure that people come out and vote in the next three weeks," said Liakakis.

Look for both candidates to make more public appearances over the next few weeks. They've also both told us this will be a clean, above-board campaign without negativity.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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