ALBANY — Dougherty County Republican Party Chairman Tracy Taylor said the shooting over the weekend of a 3-year-old child will serve as “the last straw” in his political future.
Citing a recent rash of violent criminal activity in the community, Taylor said Monday morning he has decided to seek the Albany mayor’s seat.
“I was at the state (Republican) convention in Savannah over the weekend, and so many people from across the state wanted to talk to me about crime in Albany,” Taylor, a Waycross firefighter, said. “There was a lot of conversation about how we can address crime in our community, and many of the folks at the convention said this may be the year that the voters decide they need a conservative who’s tough on crime.”
Taylor ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Dougherty County Commission in 2013 before leaving the Democratic Party for the GOP. He was defeated in 2018 by Democrat CaMia Hopson in the general election in his quest to gain the House District 153 seat previously held by Darrell Ealum but has since been named the chairman of the county Republican Party.
Taylor has become what he calls “an advocate for our community,” talking “up and down the state” about possibilities in Dougherty County.
“What I’ve found is that a lot of people are intrigued by a young African American as chairman of our Republican Party, but then when they find out I’m a true conservative, all of that doesn’t matter anymore,” Taylor said. “I talked with Gov. Kemp over the weekend, and weighed in on Dougherty County. He encouraged me to run, said he’d support me.”
Taylor said crime and careers will be the main focus of his campaign.
“With all this recent criminal activity, we have to do something,” he said. “That’s priority No. 1. Next on my list is bringing industry to our area. We have jobs here, but we need careers. We need to bring careers back to this community.”
Taylor said he plans to officially kick off his mayoral campaign Saturday at noon at the Tift Park Community Market.
Mayor Dorothy Hubbard told The Albany Herald a few weeks back that she plans to seek a third term in the mayor’s office. Announced challengers for the seat include Omar Salaam, Henry Mathis, Quincy Smith and now Taylor.