For residents in Districts 1, 5, 6 and 7, the only choice they have to make during the Aug. 27 Mobile municipal election is who to select for mayor. In the other districts, residents will be selecting the person to be their advocate on the City Council for the next four years.
District 1 Councilman Fred Richardson, District 6 Councilwoman Bess Rich and District 7 Councilwoman Gina Gregory will all remain in their positions come November since they had no opponents challenge them.
Newcomer Joel Daves, who also ran unopposed, will take over from City Council President and District 5 Councilman Reggie Copeland. The longtime councilor is retiring after 28 years representing his district.
The other districts are still up for grabs.
Lakeshia Dotson — The native Mobilian, who has a Bachelor’s in Health Services Administration from Auburn University and a Master’s of Public Administration from Troy University, is committed to placing a greater focus on District 2’s public safety and public works, a greater focus on neighborhoods and providing greater resources for small businesses. She also said abandoned homes and overgrown lots are one of the biggest issues facing District 2. Her platform is strength, leadership and integrity.
Levon Manzie — Manzie, who is a native and current Mobile County School Board Commissioner, said he wants to trade his seat on the school board to possibly be a City Councilor because of the opportunities that abound for Mobile and the ways he could continue to help the education system by being on the council. Manzie is concerned about downtown, quality of life, a biking friendly community, infrastructure and most of all, providing a voice for everyone in District 2.
Florence McElroy — McElroy wants to see District 2 change back into the community she knew it to be when she was growing up — a place where the entire community worked together and where neighbors looked after one another’s children and told each other of their misdoings. The native Mobilian said Mobile is facing a lot of urban issues like blight, abandoned houses and issues facing senior citizens and would work to remedy those problems.
Karlos Turner — Turner is not only a native Mobilian, he also grew up in City Council District 2. The candidate said the problems and issues for District 2 are to improve communication, resolve blighted property, continue to fight crime, enhance the infrastructure and improve our parks specifically bike trails and soccer fields. The candidate wants to try to maintain and attract more sports tournaments to Mobile in order to add the additional revenue to the city’s coffers.
Greg Vaughan — Vaughan, an attorney at Holtson Vaughan LLC, came to Mobile in 2004 after he earned his law degree from the University of Alabama. He has lived in District 2 since he began calling Mobile home and now he wants to represent the area. Public safety is the biggest issue facing District 2 and Mobile, he said. To combat this, he would work on expanding the Mobile County Metro Jail.
The District 2 candidates will square off in a debate hosted by the Old Dauphin Way Association on Aug. 22. The debate will take place at St. Mary’s School gymnasium on Old Shell Road at 7 p.m.
Kimberly Evans — Kimberly Evans may be best known for her namesake bar — Kimberly’s on Old Shell Road — but she wants to be known as the voice of District 3 residents, which she says has been lacking. Evans also wants to work toward making District 3 the showplace for Airbus it should be. As a local business owner, Evans said she has seen the trouble other owners have in dealing with the city and would work on making the city more business friendly.
CJ Small — Small has served District 3 since Nov. 20 of last year when he took over for Jermaine Burrell, who resigned to take a job in Boston, but this marks his first election. He said he is looking forward to finally tackling Ann Street construction and to continue to focus on establishing Community Action Groups. He also is looking forward to seeing Airbus get up and running and helping them recruit more companies and suppliers to the Mobile area.
Tim Burnett — Burnett decided to run because he wants to see a united District 4 working toward the same goals. He wants to help promote transparency with the constituents from the city and make sure every citizen feels safe. He would do so by building strong relationships with community centers, small businesses, civic associations and citizens in the neighborhoods between police officers.
Milton Morrow — The candidate said sex offender clusters and a gentleman’s club are the issues facing District 4, but the biggest concern the city is facing has to do with the Mobile County Metro Jail, Morrow said. The challenger said he wants to also work for small business development for new and existing firms.
Labarron Wiley — Wiley is a native Mobilian who earned his degree from the University of Arizona in political science and speech. He has spent the last 29 years in insurance, but has a lifelong goal of serving in public office. He said he wasn’t sure what the people of the district want yet, but will listen to their concerns.
John Williams — The incumbent, who is retired from the U.S. Army, pledged to continue to work for the people of District 6. He said there is one major unique issue for District 4 — the watershed that feeds into one of the major tributaries for the city. That’s why drainage and littering need to be at the forefront, he said.
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