As the newly reelected mayor of Birmingham stepped to the stage upstairs at The Fennec in the Parkside District, a few hundred people chanted, “We’re With Woodfin,” and “Four More Years.”
Indeed, they were with Randall Woodfin at the ballot box on Tuesday. As a result, the incumbent pushed aside seven challengers and earned another four-year term in office.
“The energy in this room tonight doesn’t reflect me,” he said. “It reflects us. The energy in this room is the definition of Team Birmingham.”
The earliest returns provided a glimpse of what was to come as Woodfin had 66% of the vote with three boxes in. That gaudy lead only slipped by percentage points when the boxes reporting rose to 17 and then 23.
When the outcome had become crystal clear with all 68 precincts reporting, Woodfin had 23,616 votes, 64.3%. Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales had 7,625 votes, 20.77%.
William A. Bell Sr., who proceeded Woodfin as mayor, was a distant third with 3,354 votes, 9.14%. In his third bid for mayor, businessman Chris Woods won 1,562 votes, 4.26%.
None of the other four candidates got as much as 1% of the vote. Woodfin said he received a concession call from Bell.
About a block away from where Woodfin was celebrating, Scales told supporters gathered on the rooftop of Michael’s restaurant that she will continue to serve as president pro tempore of the Jefferson County Commission.
“I realize that my public service, if it’s all about my own personal gain or personal career, then I know this is not where I need to be,” she said. “I believe in a transformative kind of change in people’s lives. I don’t want to just be in a position where things are more of the same, the status quo.”
In total, 36,790 Birmingham residents went to the polls Tuesday, for a voter turnout of 25.27%.
After the counting was done, six of the nine incumbent councilors had been returned to their seats and two more incumbents were headed to an Oct. 5 runoff. Read about the council election.
In the race for seats on the city’s board of education, only three incumbents are guaranteed to return to their seats and two were defeated outright. There are runoffs for two of the races. Read about the board election.
Woodfin Pledges Commitment to Residents
Woodfin said he is just as committed to the task of leading Birmingham as he was four years ago. He reminded the jubilant crowd that he committed himself to serving the citizens of the city and said he has been unwavering to keep that commitment.
“Every single day, we told the citizens of Birmingham we would invest in our neighborhoods, that we would invest in our people,” he said.
The mayor said he was elected four years ago by knocking on 50,000 doors to take his message to the people.
“Whatever we did to get to the dance, we need to do the same thing to get to the dance floor,” Woodfin said. “This time, we knocked on 80,000 doors.
“You told us to invest in your neighbors and we did,” the mayor said. “You told us to pave more streets and we did. You told us to tear down this blight and we did.”