Mayoral races held interest
During the 2012 presidential year we enjoyed observing the presidential race nationwide as well as judicial races statewide. However, probably the most important races to many of you occurred during the dog days of summer. We had mayor’s races throughout the state this year. All municipalities with the exception of Montgomery, Birmingham and Mobile elected their mayor for the next four years.
The mayor of a city is a very high profile post. Mayors have more influence and importance than most folks realize. It is the real bastion of decision making when it comes to public policy. They affect their constituents’ lives every day. The mayor of a city is where the rubber meets the road in Alabama politics.
Several iconic mayors chose to retire this year. Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford retired after 30 years and 40 year old Jason Reeves will take over the reigns of the fiscally sound University City. Reeves has been waiting in the wings for 16 years as a city councilman preparing to be Mayor of Troy.
Eufaula loses their excellent business mayor, Jay Jaxon, who chose not to run again. Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings retired. He will be followed by Yank Lovelace. Lou Watson, the longtime Mayor of Lincoln, also chose not to run for reelection.
Some very interesting stories unfolded in mayor races around the state. Former State Senator Larry Means captured the mayor’s post in Attala. This is the ultimate vindication for a man wrongfully indicted and ultimately acquitted in Alabama’s gambling corruption trial. It appears that home folks know you best.
Eddie Lowe became the first black Mayor of Phenix City. Lowe was a football star at the University of Alabama just like his father Woodrow Lowe before him. Lowe won because of his character, not his race.
Gordon Stone was reelected mayor of the growing city of Pike Road. When Stone was first elected Mayor of Pike Road it was a village of 300 people. There are 6000 folks now and if Stone succeeds in his plans to build a school in the Montgomery County suburb it will become the fastest growing city in the state in the next decade.
There are several South Alabama mayors who are returning to office and are considered superstars in the mayoral community.
Dexter McLendon of Greenville is entering his third term as Mayor of the Camellia City. Earl Johnson won easy reelection in Andalusia.
Bill Blackwell will return for four more years as Mayor of Ozark and Jimmy Ramage won his 10th term as mayor of Brundidge.
All of these mayors took office on November 5, 2012.