Cheryl Calhoun, joined by her husband Randal, signs paperwork Monday morning that makes her an official candidate in Albany’s Nov. 5 municipal election. Calhoun will run for the city’s Ward III Albany City Commission seat. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)
ALBANY — No surprise candidates emerged on the initial day of qualifying for the Nov. 5 Albany municipal election, as three candidates, including one incumbent, completed required paperwork at the Dougherty Elections office.
The Rev. Ivey Hines, who is in the final year of the abbreviated two-year term he won in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Dorothy Hubbard, who stepped down from her Ward II Albany City Commission seat to run for mayor, was the first candidate to officially qualify Monday. Before the day ended, Hines had an official opponent: Albany State University Executive Director of Marketing Demetrius Love, who is making his first run for political office.
Cheryl Calhoun qualified to run for the Ward III seat currently held by Christopher Pike. All three candidates had previously announced their intention to seek office.
“I believe the most critical issue the commission will face in the next four years is our strategic plan,” Hines, an employee at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, said. “That’s the blueprint for where we want to be in five years, in 10 years and in 20 years. All of the city’s primary concerns — including how taxpayers’ money will be spent, economic development and how we expand our tax base — will be addressed by a well-thought-out strategic plan.
“I have a plan in place to talk about what I’ve done during my time in office and what goals I want to achieve if I am re-elected. I’ll be sharing that plan with the people in Ward II in the coming weeks.”
Love said when he and his wife decided to make Albany their home, one of their primary concerns became community service. Running for political office is a way Love chose to provide such service.
“I believe there is a disconnect with my opposition (Hines) and the people in Ward II,” Love said Monday. “When there are tough decisions to be made, the people feel they have no voice, that they are merely being told what’s happening. If I am elected, I plan to put forth a first-year platform with challenges and goals I hope to achieve. At the end of that year, I want to meet with my constituents and get a grade from them.
“I see dialog as a very important part of this process. I am data-driven, and part of the data I want to process is what issues are important to the people of Ward II. In order to do that effectively, I have to get my own biases out of the way.”
Calhoun, a school bus driver who had qualified to run for the Ward II commission seat two years ago only to have her campaign thwarted when it was discovered city officials had misread GIS data concerning her voting district, said she’s already begun to take her anti-crime message to the voters of Ward III.
“I’ve been looking at the crime statistics in the city, and the highest concentration of crime is in Ward III,” she said Monday after qualifying at 10 a.m. “I’ve wanted to be a part of the solution to our city’s problems since I came here, and this motivates me even more. I’m really concerned about how crime in the city impacts our young people, but this is not just a Ward III issue. It affects all of Albany.
“There are a number of concerned groups in our community who are out there doing what they can, and I think it’s time our city government worked with those groups to make this a better place to live. We’ve got to look at ways to curtail crime in the city, and we’ve got to do what we can to improve our aging infrastructure.”
Qualifying for the city’s second, third and fifth wards will continue through Friday. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. through Thursday and 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday. Qualifying fee is $450.