Bobby Coleman, a medical transport specialist, is making his first venture into politics. He plans to run for the Ward II seat on the Albany City Commission now held by Ivey Hines. The municipal election is set for November. (April 25, 2013)
ALBANY, Ga. — The 2013 Albany Municipal Elections may be months away, but the campaign season is starting to kick into full swing.
Medical transport specialist Bobby Coleman, who has never run for political office before, confirmed Thursday he will seek the Ward II Albany City Commission seat currently held by Ivey Hines.
“My campaign won’t be one in which I cast aspersions at other candidates,” Coleman said in his first campaign interview. “I plan to run a campaign that focuses primarily on four issues: public safety, education, recreation and economic development.
“These issues are vital to our city, and I believe they are intertwined. Students can’t learn and teachers can’t teach when they’re not in a safe environment, and the very important economic development issue of unemployment is closely tied to crime and public safety.”
While Coleman is a first-time candidate, he said he learned a lot about politics while working as part of former City Commissioner and lifelong friend Henry Mathis’ campaign team.
“I became intrigued with the political process back in ‘84 when Henry first ran for office,” Coleman said. “The most important thing I learned during that time is that the people of Albany are entitled to strong leadership, leaders with vision. I believe in a leadership team that is willing to sit down and come up with a plan to move all the city forward.
“Right now our city is at a standstill. Unfortunately, it seems that some of our commissioners are working from different agendas.”
Coleman, an Albany native who has lived in Ward II all his life, said he will officially announce his candidacy in two to three weeks and start a door-to-door campaign that will allow him to “pick the brains of the people of my ward.”
Hines, who is in his second year of office after winning a special election to fill the Ward II seat vacated by Dorothy Hubbard during her successful mayoral run, said Thursday he had no comment about Coleman’s candidacy at this time.
“I really don’t know the gentleman, so there’s no comment I could make,” Hines said. “I’ve been talking about (a possible re-election bid) with folks a little, but it’s still early.”
Coleman joins businesswoman B.J. Fletcher as announced 2013 City Commission candidates. Fletcher announced plans this week to run against incumbent Christopher Pike in the Ward III commission race.