Jesse Massey, a retired educator and coach, talks to reporters about his decision to run for mayor after qualifying Friday. With qualifying now closed, Albany voters will have four mayoral candidates, two candidates for Ward II and three candidates for Ward VI.
ALBANY — Qualifying for the Albany municipal general elections in November ended at noon Friday, but not before an 11th-hour candidate managed to squeeze onto the ballot.
Jesse Massey qualified just after 11 a.m. to run for Albany mayor, bringing to four the number of candidates seeking the post being vacated in January by Dr. Willie Adams.
Massey, a retired educator with 30 years of teaching and coaching experience, enters a field that includes Dorothy Hubbard, who has served as Ward II Albany City Commissioner; businesswoman B.J. Fletcher, and former state Rep. John White.
Massey is an East Albany resident.
“I just see a city that I love that needs a little work,” Massey said after qualifying. “I love Albany and I know it has some issues, but I’m a consensus builder. ... I think we need to work hard to unite the community.”
Longtime Ward I Commissioner Jon Howard has drawn no opposition in his bid for a fifth four-year term on the commission.
Howard arrived at the Dougherty County Elections Office just before the noon deadline Friday to scout out any possible challengers.
“I’m grateful that the people are apparently happy enough with the job I’m doing not to field an opponent,” Howard said. “I’m just going to keep doing what I do and what I have done.”
In Ward IV, Commissioner Roger Marietta is being challenged by political newcomer Jason McCoy.
Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell has two challengers: former Dougherty County Commissioner Victor Edwards and former educator Kowana McKinney.
While the general election ballot is set, local officials will call for a special election — which is expected to coincide with the November general election — to fill Hubbard’s seat, which she had to vacate when she qualified to run for mayor.
There will be a special qualifying period for that seat — likely from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 14 and 15 and 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 16 — at which point would-be candidates for the seat can fill out the paperwork and pay the $450 fee to be put on the ballot.
So far, no one has publicly expressed interest in the seat.