Victor Edwards announces his entrance into the election for Albany City Commissioner from Ward VI at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. His wife Juanita led supporters in a prayer before the official announcement.
ALBANY -- Victor Edwards said he made a comeback in his personal life and he hopes to make another one as an elected official in the race for Albany City Commissioner from Ward VI.
"In 1993 at the age of 29 years old, life happened to me, and I made a serious youthful mistake that I deeply regret," the 48-year-old Edwards said. "I stood before this community and apologized for placing myself in a compromising position that cost me and my family 15 months apart from each other."
In 1994, Edwards resigned from the Dougherty County Commission and served time in prison on a felony charge of money laundering. After probation and 10 years his citizenship rights were restored.
"I stand before you ready to go to work for Ward VI, not as a perfect man, but as a man who has leaped several barriers over the past 13 years after leaving public office," Edwards said.
Now a business owner, Edwards stood in front of a vacant storefront with grass growing through cracks in the tarmac at 10:30 a.m. Saturday to say he has learned from his past to change for the better. With his entry into the race he hopes to help lead not just Ward VI but the city into a comeback.
"Should not north Albany be concerned about south Albany? And should not west Albany be concerned about east Albany? In an effort to create a new reality for our entire city?" Edwards said.
After naming some of the many businesses that closed or moved from Albany, such as Cooper Tire, Edwards said he wants to encourage economic growth.
The vacant building at Jefferson Street and Odom Avenue where Edwards held a rally that drew about 20 friends, family and other supporters was a symbol to him.
Edwards would like to see the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority expand its boundaries to include more territory south of Oglethorpe Boulevard along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
"The community would like to see the economic development commission connect the under-privileged businesses to the more privileged businesses," Edwards said. "I would encourage ownership in this community as well for each other and instill to our young people to respect our local law enforcement."
Edwards' supporters applauded, cheered and hugged after hearing the candidate say, "God has not called us to cope but he has called us to overcome."
Strong supporters Ollie Harris and Wilbur Lowe said they believe in a man's capacity to change for the better. They believe Edwards would be good for the city.
"I've know him for a long time and he is as honest as you can imagine. He is confident and gives us confidence," Harris said. "He has a heart and cares for the community. He has had challenges in the past and has overcome them."
Lowe chimed in, "I have known him as a man of integrity over the past five years. He is a man who does what he says he will do. That is what most Americans want in an elected official."