Category: 2017 Birmingham Elections

Woodfin: Bell’s Fundraising Allegations Are ‘False and Misleading’

By Robert Carter, BirminghamWatch

Birmingham Mayoral candidate Randall Woodfin called Mayor William Bell’s criticisms of his out-of-state fundraising “false and misleading.”

Bell has called out Woodfin for getting money from out-of-state donors and being supported by a national liberal agenda. Woodfin says some of that is true, but he had to go farther afield for some of his contributors because Bell during his long government career has had the backing of virtually every corporate interest. He also said there’s a fear of retribution that has to be overcome when the opponent is a long-serving, influential official. Read more.

Contributions to Bell and Woodfin Highlight Campaign Differences

Birmingham’s two remaining mayoral candidates have reported the contributions their campaigns have received since the Aug. 22 election, revealing stark contrasts between the candidates’ fundraising tactics.

Filings submitted last week show that incumbent candidate William Bell has raised $137,000 since the election, more than triple the $42,356 that challenger Randall Woodfin has raised.

But Woodfin surpasses Bell in the sheer number of individual contributors. He’s collected contributions from 327 donors since Aug. 22, with an average donation of $130, while Bell has received contributions from 59 sources, averaging $2,331 per donation.
Read more.

The polls are busy this fall year as Birmingham and Alabama voters go to the polls to elect a U.S. senator, mayor, city councilors and board of education members. Here are the dates for the upcoming elections:

Sept. 26: Republican runoff, Special Senate Election

Oct. 3: Birmingham Mayor, Council, School Board runoffs

Dec.12: General election, Special Senate Election

Bell Encourages Staff to Campaign for Him; City Hall Meeting Raises Ethical Concerns

Mayor William Bell during an Aug. 28 meeting in City Council chambers urged employees of his office to bolster his re-election campaign and told them their jobs could be at stake as well as his.

In an audio recording of the meeting, Bell told staffers that it would be improper for them to campaign for him on city time. But he told them there were activities every weekend and urged them to spread the word on social media about projects conducted during his administration.

“The political survival of my administration is at stake,” he says on the tape. Read more.

Michal Claims Birmingham School Board District 2 Seat

Terri Michal has been declared the winner in a tight race for the Birmingham City Board of Education District 2 seat.

Just 10 votes separated her from Brandon McCray after provisional ballots were counted and the vote certified Tuesday. Michal got 1,719 of those to McCray’s 1,709. Read more.

Five Birmingham School Board Races Headed to Runoffs

Voters seemed ready to side with newcomers in Birmingham City Board of Education elections Tuesday, as board President Wardine Towers Alexander was defeated in District 7 and another incumbent, Daagye Hendricks, must face former board member Edward Maddox in the Oct. 3 runoff for the District 4 seat.

Only two incumbents – Sandra Kelly Brown and Cheri Gardner – won re-election, Gardner with 79.24 percent of the vote and Brown with 68.1 percent. Read more.

Six Incumbents Win Re-Election to the Birmingham City Council, Three Races Will Be Decided in Runoffs

Voters on Tuesday chose to keep the Birmingham City Council’s current lineup mostly intact. Six councilors won re-election outright, while two more garnered enough votes to head to a runoff.

The one council seat without an incumbent vying for re-election also is headed to a runoff — though with a familiar face in the lead. Read more.

Bell, Woodfin Advance to Runoff in Birmingham Mayor’s Race

By Robert Carter, BirminghamWatch

Birmingham Mayor William Bell may be in for the fight of his political life.

Bell failed to win a majority of votes cast in the Aug. 22 mayoral election — in fact, he wasn’t even the leading vote-getter — and now will go head-to-head against Birmingham Board of Education member Randall Woodfin in a runoff Oct. 3.

Woodfin took the top spot in the returns with 15,656 votes; at 40.84 percent, he was well short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff. Bell trailed Woodfin by a wide margin in early returns but closed the gap as the night wore on and finished with 14,011 votes, or 36.55 percent.

Woodfin attracted a diverse following in his campaign, and Bell ended the night vowing to focus in on his base before the next round of voting. Read more.

Winners in Tuesday’s Birmingham city election and candidates headed for runoffs:

Mayor Randall Woodfin                15,656            40.84% William Bell Sr. (I)              14,011            36.55%   Council District 1 Lashunda Scales (I)              2,384          68%    Council District 2 Kimberly Rafferty (I)               488             17% Hunter Williams                   1,053            38%   Council District 3 Valerie Abbott (I)                    2,547           65%   Council District 4