By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter
Today, voters will head to the polls in Mobile, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa to cast ballots in crucial municipal elections. Below, catch the rundown on the major races and candidates on the ballot in each city.
The Mobile mayor’s race is a nonpartisan race between incumbent Mayor Sam Jones and challengers Sandy Stimpson and Doris J.W. Brown.
Jones is Mobile’s first African-American mayor who previously served four terms as a Mobile county commissioner. Stimpson is an executive with Scotch Gulf Lumber and once served as chair of the Business Council of Alabama. Brown is a Michigan native who served on the Wages and Deviation Board under then-Michigan Governor John Engler. She moved to Mobile in 2005.
Mobile City Council districts two, three and four are also on the ballot.
In district two, Lakeshia Dotson, Levon C. Manzie, Florence Marie McElroy, Karlos Turner and Greg Vaughan will compete for the seat. In district three, Kimberly Evans and C. J. Small will be on the ballot. In district four, voters will choose between Tim O. Burnett, Milton Morrow, Labarron Wiley and John C. Williams.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If necessary, a run off election will be Tuesday, October 8.
In Birmingham several municipal offices are on the ballot, including mayor, city council and school board.
Incumbent Birmingham Mayor William Bell is seeking his first full four-year term. He was elected in a special election in 2009 and reelected in 2011. Before serving as mayor, he was President Pro Tem of the Jefferson County Commission. He will be challenged by Kamau Afrika, Pat Bell, Stephannie Huey and Adlai Trone.
Afrika is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and was appointed to Mayor Kincaid’s Public Safety Transition Team in 2001.
Pat Bell is the founder and executive director of Pat Bell Innovations Organization. She has worked in multiple media advertising positions.
Huey is a math teacher in the Birmingham City School System. She is also a pastor at God’s Holy Tabernacle Church.
Trone is also a Birmingham math teacher who started an “Independent Financial Planning Center” in Auburn.
All of Birmingham’s city council seats and school board seats are on the ballot today, too.
In council district one, incumbent Lashunda Scales is being challenged by Pat Davis and Keith Rice.
In the second council district, incumbent Kim Rafferty is being challenged by Richard Rutledge, Neil Shah, Bart Slawson, Rollando Hollis and Everett W. Wess.
Incumbent Valerie A. Abbott is unopposed for the third council district seat.
Incumbent Maxine Herring Parker will face challenger Edward Maddox in council district four.
Robert Walker is challenging incumbent Johnathan Austin in the fifth council district.
Council district six will be a vote between Keith Aaron, John (JC) Harris, Willis H. (Buddy) (Mickey Mouse) Hendrix, Latonya Millhouse, Michael R. Morrison, James Stewart and Sheila Tyson.
Gary Bruce Lavender and incumbent James Roberson Jr. (Jay) will face off for the seventh council district.
Incumbent Steven W. Hoyt will face challenger Gerri Robinson in the eighth council district.
Council district nine will be a vote between Leroy Bandy, Angene Coleman, Eric Hall, Marcus Lundy, David Russell and Ellen H. Spencer.
As far as Birmingham City School Board, all nine districts are also up for election.
In school board district one, incumbent Tyrone H. Belcher Sr., will be challenged by Green E. Calhoun Jr., Sherman Collins Jr., Douglas Lee Ragland and Jerry Tate.
Lyord Watson will challenge incumbent Virginia Volker for the district two seat on the school board.
Brian Giattina is unopposed for the seat in district three.
The district four race will be between three new candidates: Rodney Huntley, Daagye Hendricks and Gwen P. Sykes
Randall Woodfin and Martha Casey McDowell will run for the fifth district.
District six has the largest race between six candidates: Cheri A. Gardner, Ervin Philemon Hill, Sr., Joy A. Smith, Lavon Beard and Gwendolyn Thomas Bell.
In district seven, Wardine T. Alexander, Darius Moore and Laurence Jackson will compete for the seat formerly held by Alana Hayes.
Incumbent April Myers Williams will face challengers Antwon B Womack and Patricia Bozeman-Henderson in district eight.
Emanuel B. Ford and Sandra K. Brown will face off in district nine.
Polls will be open in Birmingham from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Given the number of candidates, a runoff election will likely be necessary in several races. If the runoff is required, it will also be held October 8.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is running unopposed for his third term as mayor of Tuscaloosa. Several city council and school board seats have only one qualifier, while others have been hotly contested.
The uncontested seats for Tuscaloosa City Council are incumbent Harrison “Mailman” Taylor in district two, incumbent Cynthia Lee Almond in district three, Matt Calderone in district four and incumbent Kip Tyner in district five.
The contested city council seats are in district one, where incumbent Bobby Earl Howard is being challenged by Panganena “Panga” Wilson, Burrell G. Odom and Gregory “Greg” Stallworth, district six, where incumbent Bob Lundell is being challenged by Eddie Pugh and Patricia Evans Mokolo, and district seven, where incumbent William Tinker will face Sonya McKinstry and Albert G. “Big Al” Stinson Jr.
Two of the Tuscaloosa School Board seats are also uncontested: incumbent Earnestine Tucker in district two and Norman Crow in district three.
The race board of education chair is between Lee Garrison and Denise Hills.
In district one, incumbent James Minyard will face Earnestine “Stine” Young.
In district four, incumbent Kelly Horwitz is being challenged by Cason Kirby.
In district five, incumbent Harry C. Lee will face Joe Gattozzi. In district six, incumbent Marvin L. Lucas will face John Lollar.
And in district seven, incumbent Erskine Simmons will face challenger Renwick Jones.
Tuscaloosa polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuscaloosa’s runoff election, if necessary, will also be October 8.