Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin seeking second term; Has drawn two challengers
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin is set to officially kick off his bid for a second term in office this coming Saturday. A Jefferson County commissioner and a local businessman have announced they will try to unseat him.
Woodfin’s campaign in a Sunday release announced a drive-in kickoff event. His entry had been all but certain; he began raising money for the contest in August 2020. If successful, he would earn a second term in office.
Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales and local businessman Chris Woods have announced they will challenge Woodfin and run for mayor of Alabama’s most populous city.
Woodfin was first elected in 2017, unseating incumbent William Bell in a race that garnered national attention.
Scales, who was a member of the Birmingham City Council from 2009-2018, has feuded with Woodfin over city management matters in recent years.
Upon her election to the county commission, she was unanimously voted to serve as president pro tempore, the second-ranking position in the body. Her campaign website lists crime reduction, clean city, educational support and business support as major issues she wants to address.
Woods has sought Birmingham’s mayoralty twice before. He placed third in the mayor’s race in 2017, garnering 18.14% of the vote. Woods also unsuccessfully challenged then-Mayor Richard Arrington decades ago.
In a statement, Woods commented on one of the most publicized incidents of Woodfin’s most recent year in office.
“We can no longer tolerate spectacles that are staged purely for the optics that benefit elected officials while letting businesses be damaged. My family has a long history of peacefully standing against racism and injustice, and shedding blood for their beliefs. I supported removing the monument from Linn Park, but I will not support political grandstanding while our people suffer from rampant crime and deteriorating neighborhoods,” he remarked.
Before his time running a contracting company in Birmingham, Woods played college football for Auburn University, including on the Tigers’ 1983 SEC Championship team.
Though free to announce their campaigns and raise money, candidates cannot officially qualify to run for mayor until Friday, June 25.
Qualifying closes on Friday, July 10. The race is nonpartisan, meaning candidates do not file as members of a political party.
Birmingham’s mayoral election will be held on Tuesday, August 24, 2021.