Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Council Sets Tuesday Interviews of Six Candidates to Fill Two Open Council Seats

The Birmingham City Council has narrowed the field of candidates seeking to fill its vacant District 1 and District 6 seats to just six people — three for each seat.

During a Thursday meeting at City Hall, the council heard what Council President Valerie Abbott called one-minute “elevator speeches” from the 32 applicants.

The candidates are applying to fill seats left empty by Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson, both of whom resigned in November to take seats on the Jefferson County Commission. The council is one year into a four-year term; appointees will serve until the next citywide election, which is currently scheduled for 2021, although Abbott has suggested there may be a special election in March or April 2019 “for some taxes that have to be renewed.”

District 1:

  • Brandon McCray, 2009 candidate for District 1 councilor, 2017 candidate for District 2 member on the board of education, former committee assistant for District 6 Councilor Sheila Tyson and District 2 Councilor Kimberly Rafferty.
  • Gwendolyn Welch, former member and chair of Birmingham Public Library’s board of trustees, former education liaison for Mayor Bernard Kincaid.
  • Clinton Woods, campaign manager for Sheriff-Elect Mark Pettway, executive pastor at Christ Church.

District 6:

  • Barry Bearden, teacher and coach at the Altamont School.
  • LaTanya Millhouse, 2013 candidate for District 6 councilor, senior program manager for the Alpha Omega Group.
  • Crystal Smitherman, law student, former education outreach coordinator for Girls Inc.

Half-hour interviews for all six candidates will be held Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 11:15 a.m., following the morning’s regularly scheduled council meeting.