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Former mayoral candidate Zeph Baker is running for mayor of Columbus once again and he is joined in the race by Winfred Shipman Jr., — a candidate who lists his occupation as God and Jesus.

Qualifying for the May 22 local election ended around noon on Friday and in its wake is an unusually crowded ballot for mayor. By the time doors were closed at the Board of Elections office there were four candidates for the top spot: Danny Arencibia, Beth Harris, Berry “Skip” Henderson and Charles Roberts along with Baker and Shipman.

Zeph Baker, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2010, qualified for a second time on Friday. He’s a member of the staff at Spirit Filled Ministries and a former candidate for the Georgia House of Representatives and Columbus Council.

Other late qualifiers emerged for Columbus Council and the Muscogee County School Board:

• Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce official Amy Askew Bryan in the District 10 council race against John House and Tollie Strode Jr.

• Cheryl McCraine, a first-time candidate for the District 2 school board race against former educator Mike Edmondson and businessman John “Bart” Steed.

Here’s the unofficial ballot as of March 9:




Danny Arencibia

Zeph Baker

Beth Harris

Berry “Skip” Henderson

Charles Roberts

Winfred Shipman Jr.



District 1

Jerry “Pops” Barnes (i)

Gregory Blue

District 3

Bruce Huff (i)

Juanita Upshaw

District 5

Charmaine Crabb

District 7

Siavosh Etemadi

Jeremy Hobbs

Evelyn “Mimi” Woodson (i)

District 9 At-Large

Regina Liparoto

Judy Thomas (i)

District 10 At-Large

Amy Askew Bryan

John House

Tollie Strode Jr.




District 2

Mike Edmondson

Cheryl McCraine

John “Bart” Steed

District 4

Naomi Buckner (i)

Toyia Tucker

District 6

Mark Cantrell (i)

Eddie Obleton

Robert Mathias Roth

District 8

Frank Myers (i)

Dr. Philip Schley


Kia Chambers (i)

Tony McCool

(i) Incumbent

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Richard Hyatt joined allongeorgia.com/muscogee after spending more than 40 years as an award-winning columnist and reporter at the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus. He started his newspaper career at the Atlanta Times and Atlanta Constitution and worked in public relations for Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Hawks. He is the author of 18 non-fiction books. A native of Atlanta, he attended Georgia State University and graduated from Columbus State University. Hyatt is married to the former Kaye Howell and is the father of three daughters, including Kamryn, a bubbly third grader.


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