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Municipal elections

Walt Maddox wins fifth term as mayor of Tuscaloosa

According to preliminary election results, Maddox won with 6,727 votes, or 54.9 percent.

Incumbent Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox speaking at a election night victory press conference.

Incumbent Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox on Tuesday was elected to a fifth term as mayor. “We couldn’t be any more ecstatic about the results,” the mayor said to reporters after his election victory.

Maddox thanked Tuscaloosa voters for their support.

“First, they decided it’s better to be united than divided,” Maddox said. “Second, they decided that the future will be better than the past. … People came out in droves and I am so pleased. It is not about us, it is about Tuscaloosa.”

Maddox said that this was his most difficult campaign, lasting eight months.

“It has been vitriolic at times,” Maddox said of the negative attacks leveled by the other campaigns. “I told our campaign if we had to go negative to win I didn’t want to do it.”

Maddox said he is excited and honored for the opportunity to lead Tuscaloosa as mayor for a fifth consecutive term. Martin Houston conceded the Tuscaloosa mayoral race to Maddox Tuesday evening.

“First of all, I want to say ‘thank you’ to my lovely wife, my kids and all the people who worked and prayed and supported our candidacy, as well as those who volunteered and voted for me,” Houston said in a statement. “Congratulations to Mayor Maddox, and also to Dr. Fortenberry for getting into the fray. Tomorrow we will wake up as one Tuscaloosa. I still believe this can be a great town, and I hope that every citizen feels they will be represented as we move forward.”

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“I hope that people listened to some of the things I said during this campaign, that Serena said, and that the mayor said,” Martin concluded. “I also hope that the people of Tuscaloosa will hold the mayor and the new city council accountable for what they promised to do, as we move forward.”

According to preliminary election results, Maddox won with 6,727 votes, or 54.9 percent. Houston received 3,614, or 29.5 percent. University of Alabama Professor Serena Fortenberry received 1915 votes, or 15.6 percent.

“If I have done nothing else, I hope that I have changed the conversations in Tuscaloosa, and directed more eyes toward city hall and what happens inside it. I did a lot with a little,” Fortenberry said. “And worked hard. If you voted, volunteered, or donated to my campaign, I cannot thank you enough! It was worth it!”

“Also, my husband has done the math and he says as far as campaign donations go, I got the most votes per dollar of any candidate,” Fortenberry stated. “We were the most efficient at converting dollars to votes. Wish we had had more dollars. Rough numbers: I got a vote for every $14. Maddox got a vote for every $22. Houston got a vote for every $52.”

Video of Maddox’s victory news conference is available here. Maddox was the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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