2017 Birmingham Elections

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 in District 9 and Cheri Gardner in District 6 – won re-election to the nine-member board, Gardner with 79.24 percent of the vote and Brown with 68.1 percent.

Five incumbents didn’t seek reelection.

Mary Drennen Boehm easily won the District 3 seat with 70.99 percent of the vote. She is an education volunteer and former president of A+ College Ready. Terri Michal claimed the District 2 seat after provisional ballots were counted Aug. 29. She led Brandon McCray by just 12 votes in the unofficial vote count, and she led by 10 votes after  provisional ballots were counted. Michal is a 52-year-old hospice administrator and field representative of Birmingham’s American Federation of Teachers chapter.

Headed for the Oct. 3 runoff are:

  • District 1 candidates the Rev. Cedric Small, 32, and retired educator Douglas Lee Ragland, 60. Small won 37.10 percent of the vote and Ragland won 25.45 percent.
  • District 5: UAB professor Michael “Mickey” Millsap, 43, and Jefferson State Community College instructor David T. McKinney, 34. Millsap took 30 percent of the vote to McKinney’s 15 percent.

  • District 7: 65-year-old Patricia Spigner McAdory, a retired Birmingham City Schools teacher, and 49-year-old Walter “Big Walt” Wilson, a supervisor in the Birmingham public works department. It was in District 7 that school board President Wardine Towers Alexander failed to make the runoff. She took just 26.23 percent of the vote, while first-time candidate McAdory took 40.24 percent and Wilson, who ran for the position in 2013, had 33 percent.

  • District 8 candidates 36-year-old music and tennis instructor Sonja Q. Smith and 57-year-old Patricia Bozeman Henderson, who is a coordinator in Birmingham municipal court. Smith got 31.44 percent of the vote to Henderson’s 30 percent.

  • District 4 incumbent Hendricks, 41, who works at UAB, and Edward Maddox, 61, the former school board president forced to resign in 2011 as part of a plea agreement related to a charge he used his office and a position with a neighborhood association for personal gain. Maddox took 46.92 percent of the vote to Hendricks’ 34.29 percent.

The majority of the sitting board – Sherman Collins, Lyord Watson, Brian Giattina, Randall Woodfin, and April Williams – did not seek reelection. Woodfin lead the Birmingham mayor’s race and faces Mayor William Bell in a runoff for the city’s top position, and Collins lost in his bid for a City Council seat.


This story was updated Aug. 29 to include updated results in the District 2 race.