Former Mayor of Birmingham William Bell has formally launched his campaign for mayor, in a virtual announcement Tuesday evening.
Bell, who previously lost in a hotly contested mayoral race in 2017 to incumbent Mayor Randell Woodfin, first intimated his intentions to run again in early February, but held-off formally announcing until Tuesday.
“I believe we are truly the Magic City. But far too often lately, our city has fallen short,” Bell said, in his announcement Tuesday. “I’ve heard from every corner of the city, from Huffman to Ensley, from North Birmingham to Highland Avenue, that we need change, that we need proven leadership to get our city back on track.”
Bell took jabs at Woodfin and said the city needs “an experienced hand to get us back on track.”
“Four years of ineptitude and mismanagement has our city hurting, and adrift,” Bell said. “People out of work, children out of school, families losing homes and more importantly loved ones. Record rates of murder, and violence in our neighborhoods. Chaos in city government and our finances in a mess.”
“The stakes are just too high for the current mayor to learn on the job. He’s in over his head,” Bell said.
Bell is the latest to join a race already including Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales, Birmingham businessman Chris Woods and philanthropist Cerissa A Brown.
Woodfin, who is running for re-election, raised over $1 million dollars in his first month of campaigning, a record for city elections. The election is set for Aug. 24, 2021.