August is not the most comfortable time of year to be out knocking on doors in Jones County, but that is just what a newcomer to local politics is doing.
Jan Andrews is a candidate for commissioner of Jones County’s District 4. She and her campaign manager Nancy Andrews can be found most days personally making their case to voters of why they should cast their ballot for her.
Jan Andrews was born in Macon and moved to Jones County with her family when she was 7. The candidate attended school in Jones County from fourth grade until graduation.
Andrews has been married to husband Dennis for 44 years, and they have two children. She spent her career in banking for 32 years as a data analyst, working her way up to the position of regional first vice president before retiring in 2008.
The candidate said she has been spending time with family since her retirement.
Andrews said her love of politics started early in her life and was inspired by her father. She said he was a blue-collar farm worker who instilled his work ethic in her. He was a lover of politics and government and as the oldest child, she recalled watching the news with him every day.
“We talked about politics and I remember staying up on election nights to find out who won,” Andrews said.
The candidate said she grew up reading the newspaper and always kept up with what was going on in the country. She added that she loved history.
After the 2016 election, Andrews said she became aware of problems in her district that were not being addressed. That was when she made the decision she wanted to get involved and make a difference.
“Politics is something I love, and I decided it’s what I want to do,” she said.
Andrews started going to every county commission meeting and has not missed a meeting in three and a half years. She made it a goal to get to know all of the commissioners, and she accomplished that goal.
She is currently the chairman of the Jones County Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals, a volunteer position she has held for two years.
The candidate said, despite all that, the decision to actually qualify to run for the office of commissioner was not an easy one. She said she went back and forth about it and met with each of the commissioners, including her opponent Daylon Martin, one on one to talk about the county.
Andrews said each commissioner had different ideas and the conversations were very enlightening. She said she gave herself a deadline of January to make the decision.
“I decided to do it, mainly because of my experiences with the commissioners,” she said.
The candidate said she is determined to run a positive campaign, and she started going doorto-door in mid August.
“I plan to go to as many houses as time allows,” she said.
Andrews said, when she talks to people, she asks for their vote and gives them her flyer. She said the response she has received from voters has been good.
The candidate said her campaign manager is with her every step of the way.
“I don’t know what I would do without her,” she said.
Andrews signed up with a marketing company to help her with social media, and she now has a Facebook page, Jan Andrews for Jones County. She said the purpose of the page is to announce upcoming events and help her communicate with voters.
“After the election, I’ll use the page to help communicate with constituents,” she said.
Andrews said among the issues that need work in District 4 are blight, litter, recreation, crime and drugs.
She said blight issues mostly have to do with rental properties that are not kept up, and recreation is connected to needs at the old Mattie Wells gym.
When asked why people should vote for her, Andrews said she is a natural born problem solver. She said she is a good communicator and would work well with the other commissioners.
“I see the big picture and how decisions impact everyone. I believe I would bring a different insight,” the candidate said.
Andrews added that she plans to stay in contact with people in her district and find out their needs.
“I’m going to ask questions, and I hope I will bring a balance to the board,” she said.
“I don’t give up; I’ll stay to the end.”
- Jan Andrews