Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle Announces His Candidacy for Governor
In an exclusive interview with Yellowhammer, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle has just declared his run for governor in 2018. The conservative Republican will participate in the Republican primary, relying on his successful experiences as mayor and as a small-business owner.
His previous successes did not occur by accident. Mayor Battle started working in his father’s Birmingham restaurant when he was only 14. Tommy Sr. operated a Britling’s Cafeteria, and his leadership had a tremendous influence on shaping his son’s work ethic and character. “My hero,” Mayor Battle calls his dad. “He’s somebody who taught you if you talk the talk, you better walk the walk.”
When talking about the reasons he’s decided to run for governor, Mayor Battle cites not only his own mayoral and business experiences but also the need to secure the state’s future by bringing a completely clean slate to Montgomery.
“For too long, the people of Alabama have seen our values come under attack. We’ve endured corruption instead of opportunity, scandal instead of education, and embarrassment instead of pride,” Battle said. “We’re not just in a battle for Alabama’s values, we’re in a battle for Alabama’s future. I’m running for governor because I’m ready to lead that fight.”
Mayor Battle is marked by his high-energy, enthusiastic approach, which has resulted in no shortage of impressive achievements that include:
• Bringing over 17,000 new jobs to North Alabama, including new locations for Remington Arms Company and Polaris
• Generating some $2.5 billion in economic investment for the city
• Earning Huntsville triple-A credit ratings for eight straight years
• Creating a “pay-as-you-go” solution for $500 million in road and infrastructure projects
• $250 million in new school facilities
• A book club program that’s provided over 80,000 books to elementary-aged students in Huntsville’s Title 1 schools
Mayor Battle also has a sense of urgency when it comes to helping Alabama thrive.
“Our state’s challenges are real, and they can’t wait,” said Battle. “Politicians talk; leaders get things done. It’s time we had a state government that talks less, listens to our people, and gets things done for them.”
Since 2014, Mayor Battle has regularly met with the mayors of Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa. Citing jobs creation, economic development, education, infrastructure, and roads as his priorities, Battle stresses the importance of building meaningful coalitions like the one he enjoys with these mayors.
“When we work together, we can do great things for our entire state, and it’s time we make Alabama stronger for all of us.”
Mayor Battle, 61, has been married to his wife Eula for 28 years. Their son and daughter-in-law, Drew and Lauren, have one son, George. Mayor and Mrs. Battle are active members of Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville.
As a retired public school teacher, Eula has fostered Battle’s strong sense of commitment to education—for students and teachers. Mrs. Battle co-founded the Free 2 Teach program that provides nearly 4,000 Madison County teachers with free resources like classroom supplies.
Finally, Mayor Battle stressed the importance of being positive in his gubernatorial campaign.
“This campaign isn’t going to be against anyone,” said Battle. “It’s going to be for Alabama.”