MOBILE, Ala (WKRG) — Mobile Municipal Elections are just three months away and local political analyst Jon Gray says he is surprised about the lack of buzz so far, and says who lands on Mobile’s City Council might have more impact than who is mayor.
Sandy Stimpson is seeking a third term as mayor. He is opposed by longtime Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson and Municipal Judge Karlos Finley.
“I’m surprised the race hasn’t gotten the attention I would have expected,” said Gray who operates Strategy Research in Mobile. “A third term for Sandy Stimpson is a big deal. I haven’t seen the real attention and the aggressive campaigning going on inside the city. So at this point, with a lack of campaigning, I’d say Sandy Stimpson is comfortably on his way to another win.”
Three of the city council’s seven members are not running for re-election: Richardson, Bess Rich, and John Williams. Gray says the changing nature of the council might be a bigger story than the mayor’s race.
“I think that’s really the secret sauce here,” said Gray. “Mobile has a strong council, weak mayor form of government. So the mayor, without the support of the council, has very little authority to do things. I think that’s really the important part here. What happens in those three races and two others that are being challenged will decide more about the future of the city than the mayor’s race.”
Gray says the quality of life issues like roads, parks, and public safety will dominate both the mayor and city council races.
More candidates could enter the race by the mid-July filing deadline. Mobile’s municipal election is August 24.