Former Mayor Sam Jones on Tuesday morning denied rumors he had announced he would run again for mayor in 2017, despite a number of sources confirming he had made it official the evening before.
When asked if an announcement was forthcoming, Jones said “no.”
That’s contrary to an account from Rodney Toomer, who had created a post on Facebook asking for campaign volunteers for Jones’ run. In a phone interview, Toomer said Jones had “pretty much” told him he was running for mayor again.
In addition to Toomer, sources on Tuesday also confirmed Jones was running against incumbent Mayor Sandy Stimpson. Jones did not answer a phone call Wednesday asking for clarification following Toomer’s comments.
Jones did file an annual fair campaign practices act report with Mobile County Probate Court in January, but that’s not uncommon for someone with an active political account. According to that document, Jones was not active in 2015. He took in no contributions and only spent $60. According to the form, his beginning balance was $775 and the ending balance, as of Dec. 31, 2016 was $715
Stimpson still has no official competition to announce for the election in August. Despite that, Campaign Manager Candace Cooksey said they are not slowing down.
“We have been organizing a campaign team as if we’d have opposition,” Cooksey said. “ … “We’re not going to be caught off guard.”
Stimpson’s campaign also continues to raise money.
The current mayor’s election account received more than $400,000 in contributions in 2016, according to his annual report. He had more than $300,000 in the account at the time the report was filed.
Cooksey said the mayor has enjoyed “tremendous support from “across the city,” as the number of contributors has grown.
“The response has been very, very positive,” she said.
Stimpson’s campaign has also setup pop-up headquarters, in which the campaign takes over a local business for the night, Cooksey said. The pop-up headquarters have been used during Mardi Gras.