Home City Council 13 candidates apply to fill vacant District 7 council seat in Birmingham

13 candidates apply to fill vacant District 7 council seat in Birmingham

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Times Staff Report

The Birmingham City Council this week accepted 13 applications and resumes from District 7 residents to fill the seat vacated by Jay Roberson. The seat was officially vacated by Roberson on September 10.

Roberson, 45, the council’s president pro tem had been elected to a third consecutive term in 2017.

Here are those who applied:

Gwendolyn Calhoun

Gibril H. Davies Jr.

Wardine Alexander

Marcus King

Charles Crockrom Sr.

Dr. Gertrudis A. Hunter

Robert H. Young

Lonnie Malone

Raymond Brooks

Walter Wilson

Theodore Smith

Jameania Ravizee

Jeffrey Rowser

Some of the applicants are familiar with city elections. Malone ran against Roberson in the 2017 council election and finished a distant second. Rowser ran against Roberson in the same election and finished third. Alexander is a former Birmingham Board of Education president, who lost her bid for re-election in 2017.

Brooks is a former chief of the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service, who made an unsuccessful run for mayor in 2007. He previously had applied to fill the District 7 council seat after former councilmember Miriam Witherspoon died in 2009; but the council chose Roberson. Walter “Big Walt” Wilson is a public works employee for the city of Birmingham and has served as a substitute teacher and volunteer football coach in Birmingham City Schools. He ran for the District 7 seat in the 2009 municipal elections, but lost to Roberson.

Calhoun is president of the Hillman Neighborhood Association. Cockrom Sr. is former head of security at Miles College and served as assistant to former Mayor Richard Arrington. Hunter is a former mayoral candidate. Smith is a member of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority board of directors and former member of the parks and recreation board.

According to the Mayor Council Act:

“Vacancies in the council shall be filled by the council at the next regular meeting or any subsequent meeting of the council, the person so elected to hold office only until the next election of any kind in which the voters of the city to which this Act applies are qualified electors, at which time said unexpired terms shall be filled by said electors in accordance with all provisions of law applicable to such city; in any event, the person elected shall hold office until his successor is elected and qualified.”

Roberson announced in August that he was stepping down after his wife, Niva accepted a position with the Alabaster City Schools and was moving to that city from Birmingham.