photo credit:Stephonia McLinn
Birmingham citizens went to the polls to vote on Tuesday in what was perhaps the most underestimated yet critical election this city has seen in many years. For the first time both the Council and Mayor where chosen in the same election cycle. In addition, the City’s troubled school board was on the ballot as well. There was no surprise in the Mayor’s race, incumbent William A. Bell, Sr. won as expected. District 3 Councilwoman Valerie Abbott and school board member, Brian Giattina were both unopposed so no surprises there, but the evening was far from dull. With 63.65 percent of the vote Lashunda Scales will once again represent Birmingham’s District 1 on the city council. However, Councilwoman Kim Rafferty’s fate has yet to be determined as she will face Rolanda Hollis in a run off for the District 3 city council seat. Current councilors Maxine Parker, Jonathan Austin, Steven Hoyt and Jay Roberson all won reelection.
In two of the most watched races, former councilman Leroy Bandy and Marcus Lundy will meet again in a run off for the District 9 seat vacated by current council President Roderick Royal and neighborhood leader Sheila Tyson will now represent District 6 after seeking an appointment by the council for the past six months.
As Birmingham City Schools face probation and a possible loss of accreditation, citizens voted to see a number of new faces on the school board. In addition to incumbents Brian Giattina, April Williams and Wardine Alexander, who was appointed to represent District 7 in March, three new members were selected. With 70 percent of the vote political new comer Randall Woodfin will now represent District 5 and after easily defeating incumbent Emanuel Ford, Sandra K. Brown will now represent District 9. With over 61 percent of the vote Lyord Watson defeated incumbent Virginia Volker and will now represent District 2 on the school board. Run offs between Gwen Sykes and Daagye Hendricks for the District 4 seat; Cheri Gardner and Gwendolyn Bell will meet in a run off for the school board seat representing District 6.