By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, August 22, 2017, residents of Mobile go to the polls to elect their mayor and city council.
In the Mobile Mayoral race, incumbent Sandy Stimpson is seeking a second term as Mayor. Former Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, who was unseated by Stimpson in 2013 is running to make a political comeback. Donaveta Ely and Anthony Thompson also are on the ballot seeking to be Mobile’s next mayor.
The Stimpson campaign said on their web site: “Stimpson’s team secured a $14.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to reconstruct the Broad-Beauregard corridor, connecting residents, the transportation system and major economic employment centers at Brookley Aeroplex and downtown Mobile. Under Stimpson’s leadership, Mobile’s economic future is bright. To date, fifteen new global aerospace suppliers are relocating to Mobile, there’s a new tech corridor on St. Louis Street, and our refurbished cruise terminal welcomed the triumphant return of Carnival cruise lines last year. With Mayor Stimpson at the helm, Mobile is undergoing a positive transformation. He understands that our people are the real reason for our success. Each day this administration is committed to making sure every citizen has an opportunity to share in the momentum. Stimpson truly believes we can only achieve our fullest potential united, as “One Mobile.”
Stimpson is a White Republican who unseated Jones, a Black Democrat four years ago. Jones is seeking to return to the Mayor’s office. The racial and political divides make it hard for both candidates to grow their coalition. Stimpson says that the changes he has made over the last four years are a positive momentum and that Mobile should not go back to Jones’s policies. Jones, on the other hand, has made President Donald J. Trump an issue in the mayoral race.
Former Mayor Sam Jones said in a statement on social media, “Now is the time to reflect on both recent and past history. Tomorrow marks an opportunity for us to exercise a right that many before us have cherished. We have seen the lack of inclusion and diversity over the last 4years. We see how our Current Mayor has the same ideology as Donald Trump. We see how our community is under threat of White Supremacy protests just like any other city. But How can all communities unite under this type of Leadership when we have a Mayor that refuses to denounce Trump and Segregationist ideology???? Regardless of poor weather or long lines…… our Elders have shown us how it should be done. Take the time to influence those around you by making this historic stand against Money and the Republicans on tomorrow. The Time is now to finally show…… that the People will stand together to make the change. Mobile….. we are counting on you. The “Friends to Elect” Sam Jones are “ALL IN”. Are you??????”
Jones served as Mayor for two terms, from 2005 to 2013. He served nine years in the U.S. Navy and four terms on the Mobile City Council. The City landed the Airbus plant while Jones was Mayor.
Anthony Thompson is a newcomer to politics. He says that the biggest problem in Mobile is the lack of trust in government. Thompson promised to have regular town halls, give the public access to police body cameras, decrease the Mayor’s control over the police, and better care for the homeless. Thompson says that the biggest thing he brings to the office is his compassion. Thompson, 32, has been a nurse for 14 years.
Thompson said on social media, “I may be the first Mayoral Candidate in history to be interviewed by the University of South Alabama’s student newspaper “The Vanguard”. I am proud to be promoting & working with Mobile’s colleges. As mayor I will continue reaching out to our local colleges and involving them in moving our city forward!”
Donavette Ely is focusing her campaign on preventing crime, by providing programs and resources to youth counseling, workshops, and a healthy lifestyle. Ely wants to encourage entrepreneurship. Ely said on her website, “My decision to run for Mayor has a lot to do with the current events in my hometown. I cringe every time I hear of a young man or woman losing their life to a preventable crime. I feel it is my duty to present effective programs and resources to divert youth mortality rates; with counseling, workshops and a healthy lifestyle. It’s time to heal our city and position ourselves for the future. We should take advantage of our unique and creative citizenship by encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship. I plan to work closely with the City Council in efforts of introducing new technology and clean energy job opportunities. Mobile has a retention problem and as Mayor, I plan to change that by making Mobile the exciting ‘GO TO’ place that will not only attract tourist but also compel our College Grads to return home to build.”
Donavette graduated from Leflore Magnet High School. After graduating with an Advance Diploma, she attended ASU & USA. She has an Associates of Science, at Bishop State Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree at Faulkner State University in Human Resource Management. She has taken some Master courses at Liberty University online but her goal is to obtain a Law Degree and practice civil law. Donavette has worked at the State Personnel Office, The Census Bureau, with FEMA and Homeland Security. She also worked for the BP Oil Spill Recovery, as an Assistant Manager and specialist for Oil Recovery. In addition, she has an extensive background in Sales, Marketing, and Tax Preparation.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) is sending teams of observers from his office to oversee the activities of poll workers in Mobile after some suggestions of possible improprieties were made.
Secretary Merrill said, “Just to be clear, we have absolutely no intention to sit back and allow any intimidation or fraudulent activity to occur in any election in Alabama!”
The Mobile City Council races are also on Tuesday’s ballot.
In order to get a ballot, you must have a photo ID. The most common form of photo ID is a driver’s license. Make sure that your driver’s license is not expired. Forms of photo ID accepted at the polls include a valid: driver’s license; Alabama photo voter ID card; state issued ID (any state); federal issued ID; US passport; employee ID from Federal Government, State of Alabama, County, Municipality, Board, or other entity of this state; student or employee ID from a public or private college or university in the State of Alabama (including postgraduate technical or professional schools); Military ID; or Tribal ID. Polls open on Tuesday at 7:00 am and close at 7:00 pm.