André Cheek announced Monday that she is joining the race for the Gainesville City Council Ward 3 seat currently held by Myrtle Figueras.
Figueras announced previously that she did not want to seek re-election on Nov. 3.
“After hearing that (Figueras) was no longer going to be running for the seat ... I prayed about it and talked to people in the community who have been very encouraging and supportive and finally made the decision that I wanted to move in that direction,” Cheek told The Times. “I just look to be a representative of all of Gainesville.”
Barbara Brooks, a retired social worker, and Lemuel Betancourt, a project management specialist in the electrical industry, have also announced their candidacy for the Ward 3 seat.
Official qualifying for three City Council races takes place next week.
Cheek was born and raised in Gainesville, and currently works with the Department of Juvenile Justice as an outreach unit program coordinator.
She has lived in Ward 3 for more than 15 years.
“I feel like I know the community extremely well and the people within it,” she said. “I believe that they would find me to be a good candidate that would represent them well.”
Cheek has one college-age son who graduated from Gainesville High School and describes herself as active in the community, whether as a member of the PTA or in other civic organizations.
“I think we need someone who is going to step up to the plate and really fill that position,” Cheek said. “Ms. Figueras is leaving behind a legacy. Those are some big shoes to fill.”