PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — As a young girl in northern Escambia County, Jewel Cannada-Wynn always knew she wanted to serve her community in some way.

“I had aspirations to run for mayor of the city of Century,” said Cannada-Wynn. “But I always wanted to be a teacher so I knew somewhere I was going to be a teacher.”

Cannada-Wynn recently retired from the school district after 27 years but her public service started in the Air Force. She also served 14 years on the city council until 2020. Now, she’s decided to run for mayor of Pensacola.

“I wanted to finish some unfinished business with the city,” said Cannada-Wynn.

That unfinished business includes a passion of hers, affordable housing, especially as we’ve seen rent and mortgage rates going up.

“It’s a passion for me because of my upbringing and not being able to have an affordable, decent place to stay,” said Cannada-Wynn. She wants to see more temporary housing and resources for the homeless as they work on a permanent solution.

“We need to have a couple more transitional places for individuals to stay, especially when we deal with women,” said Cannada-Wynn. “Especially when we deal with families with children.”

The ability to pay for housing largely depends on your income. She wants to bring in more good-paying jobs and she thinks wages are just too low for most families right now.

“When you pay higher wages then people are able to afford their own home,” said Cannada-Wynn. “Just because houses are skyrocketed now does not mean our citizens should give up on being able to own their own home.”

Public safety is another priority and she wants more community policing and higher pay for officers. Cannada-Wynn hopes her run for mayor will encourage little girls to follow their dreams.

“Somebody may tell them it’s difficult or hard,” said Cannada-Wynn. “They just look at them and say ‘I can. I can do this.’ Just like I tell myself. Jewel can win.”

You may see her yard signs around town that read “The Right ‘Jewel’ For Mayor.” Early voting is happening now and lasts until Saturday. Election day is Tuesday, Aug. 23.

For more information about Jewel Cannada-Wynn and her vision, go to her website.

If none of the candidates get more than 50% of the vote, then the top two will be on the ballot in November. Check wkrg.com all week to find stories about the three other candidates who are campaigning to become Pensacola’s next mayor.

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