CHIPLEY - Chipley's municipal election is set to take place Tuesday, August 1, with just one contested race as Tracy Andrews challenges incumbent Lee Dell Kennedy for the Ward 3 seat.
This is the first time Kennedy - who made history when he was appointed the city's first African American Mayor in 2014 - has been challenged for the post in his six years as a council member.
John "Tommy" Sasser will serve another term as the Ward 2 representative after running unopposed.
Andrews, a 1986 Chipley High School graduate, obtained her A.A. Degree from Chipola College and went on to Florida A&M University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems.
She has been employed with Gulf Power for 25 years and has served the community in several capacities, including as a volunteer for the City of Chipley Parks and Recreation Committee, a member of City of Chipley Code Enforcement division, and currently as Chairman of the City of Chipley Planning and Zoning Committee; Board Member for the Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity, and President of community betterment organization, New Vizh-uhn.
Andrews states she embraces change and is "passionate about building a strong community."
"I'm involved and engaged in the community because I believe community involvement by its citizens is paramount in the success, growth and development," Andrews said. "I am very intentional in my vision for my community, and with integrity, foresight, insight, and hindsight my voice will be heard as a change agent for the betterment of Washington County."
Mayor Lee Dell Kennedy also states community involvement is vital, but adds that the City of Chipley has accomplished much for growth during his leadership, citing in part, efforts to expand infrastructure south of I-10 to promote opportunities for economic growth.
"Right now, we have a great team," Kennedy said. "We have done a lot in six years."
Kennedy, who is a disabled Vietnam veteran, retired from a 31-year career in the Florida Department of Corrections, during which time he served as Deputy Warden at three area correctional facilities, including Northwest Florida Reception Center in Chipley, Holmes Correctional Institution, and Walton Correctional Institution.
Kennedy founded New Vizh-uhn around 2011 and is currently serving as Chairman of Washington County's Tourist Development Council.
He is also President of the Youth Community Outreach Program at Grant Tabernacle A.M.E Church in Chipley.
This is a non-partisan election, with all residents registered to vote within the city limits eligible to vote, regardless of where within the city limits they reside. The last day to register for this election is Monday, July 3. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Chipley City Hall on August 1.