ALBANY, Ga. -- Vowing a renewed emphasis on the fight against blight while standing on her record as a commissioner, Dorothy Hubbard announced Thursday that she will seek the office of mayor of Albany.
Standing in front of a blighted home at 128 Church St. where city work crews have started demolition work, Hubbard said that the city needs to continue its efforts razing properties that are a danger to the public health and safety and are a detriment to economic development efforts.
"We need to be proud of our community and offer an inviting and progressive face to those who come to stay; those who visit or those who might come to provide jobs," Hubbard said.
Hubbard has been on the city commission since March 2005 when she was appointed by the governor to replace the unexpired term of former Commissioner Henry Mathis.
She ran for the seat the following November and won and has been on the board ever since.
Hubbard is the first sitting commissioner to formally announce intentions to replace Mayor Willie Adams, who will retire from public life when his term expires in December.
Speculation remains that both Commissioner Christopher Pike and Commissioner Jon Howard are mulling campaigns. Commissioner Roger Marietta said at one point that he was considering running, but has since told the Herald he intends to seek reelection to his Ward IV seat.
Dark Horse contender Kirk Smith is currently the only person who has filed the proper paperwork with the state to begin fundraising for a campaign.
Qualifying for the mayoral race begins August 29 and ends at noon September 2.
To run for mayor, Hubbard will have to resign her seat from the commission -- a move she said she intends to make before she officially qualifies for the office during qualifying week.
City Attorney Nathan Davis said that a special election will have to be called to elect someone to fill the remaining two years on her term.
Hubbard retired in 1999 from Albany State University as assistant to the president following a 29-year tenure at the university. During that time, she served as registrar and assistant vice president for academic affairs.
She holds a bachelor's degree in business education from ASU and a master's degree in education administration and supervision from the University of Georgia.
An Americus native, Hubbard now resides in Albany and attends Faith Monumental Baptist Church. She is married to Robert Hubbard and has four adult children.
In the rain and wind Thursday, Hubbard said she knows the road ahead of Albany is one fraught with hurdles and challenges, but said that she still believes Albany can be the center of commerce, agriculture and public service for Southwest Georgia.
"I know that there are real obstacles and challenges to overcome. We need jobs. We need a safer, clean community, and more education, training and fresh ideas to spark positive and productive ways to do business," Hubbard said. "We must work to attract what we want to become -- a hub for new industry and services."
If elected, Hubbard would be the first woman mayor of the city of Albany.