Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson only increased his margin of victory in last week’s municipal election, as final unofficial results were tabulated.
Stimpson secured election to a third term in office with 62 percent of the vote against four challengers and amid dismal turnout.
Stimpson picked up 21,769 votes out of 34,102 ballots cast. Councilman Fred Richardson came in a distant second with 7,538 votes, or 22 percent and Municipal Judge Karlos Finley finished with 4,489 votes, or 14 percent. Michael Young picked up 239 votes and Donavette Ely got 142. Both equaled less than 1 percent of the vote.
The 34,102 votes accounted for just 24 percent of the 141,631 registered voters in the city. Four years ago when Stimpson was fighting for re-election against former Mayor Sam Jones, more than 50,000 votes were cast.
In District 1, Cory Penn will take on Herman Thomas in an Oct. 5 runoff election. Penn received 1,645 votes, or 35 percent, to Thomas’s 1,314, or 28 percent.
When asked on election night who he favored to take his place on the Mobile City Council, Richardson didn’t give a firm answer. While he didn’t explicitly endorse either Penn or Thomas, he said he has known the former Mobile County circuit judge longer.
“I am familiar with his leadership and I have no doubt that he will take my place and keep it going,” Richardson said.
Chamyne Fortune Thompson, who looked likely to make the runoff all through election night, ended up in third place with 1,075 votes, or 23 percent of the vote.
Tim Hollis finished with 261 votes, or 6 percent; Perry Berens finished with 205, or 4 percent; John Westbrook Jr. finished with 122, or 3 percent of the total and Tony-Toni Wright finished with 66 votes, or 1 percent.
The vote from residents in District 2 resulted in a runoff as well, although just barely. Incumbent Councilman Levon Manzie picked up more than double the votes of his closest competitor, with 2,262 votes, or 47 percent. He will face former councilman William Carroll, who received 1,077 votes, or 23 percent.
Carroll’s uphill battle got a bit steeper, as third-place finisher Mark Minnaert endorsed Manzie. Minnaert finished with 727 votes, or 15 percent.
A pro-business, pro-growth agenda resonated with his supporters, Minnaert said. Specifically, he pointed to annexation as a dividing line for many.
Stimpson pushed to allow more than 13,000 residents of an unincorporated area of West Mobile to vote to join the city through annexation. The annexation push failed when the council’s three black members, including Manzie, voted against it.
“I think my people — those more politically savvy — saw failure to pass (annexation) as a short-sighted decision for the city,” Minnaert said. “I think (Manzie) is a little more flexible on that (now).”
Minnaert said he believes Manzie’s views on annexation have changed since 2019 and that’s one reason he’s backing him. Minnaert also spoke with city department heads and community activists about the race and they felt Manzie would be easier to work with, he said.
“If these guys think they can work with him, that’s who I’m putting my support behind,” Minnaert said.
District 3 Incumbent Councilman C.J. Small had very little competition from challenger Xaviaire Carnrike. Small was able to retain his seat with 2,888 votes, or 90 percent of the vote, to Carnrike’s 333 votes, or 10 percent.
In the race to replace Incumbent Councilman John Williams in District 4, his hand-picked successor Ben Reynolds picked up 3,426, or 65 percent of the vote, to challenger Fred Rettig’s 1,844 votes, or 35 percent.
Incumbent District 5 Councilman Joel Daves cruised to re-election against two challengers with 3,088 votes, or 75 percent. Wilecia Wright finished second with 653 votes, or 16 percent and Tex Copeland finished third with 363 votes, or 9 percent.
The District 6 race is also slated for an Oct. 5 runoff between veteran Scott Jones and Josh Woods, director of The Grounds. Jones finished election night leading with 2,496 votes, or 43 percent. Woods garnered support from 2,155 District 6 voters, or 38 percent of the electorate. Tony Dughaish finished third with 656 votes, or 11 percent. Deryl Pendleton, who ran four years ago against District 6 Councilwoman Bess Rich, took 433 votes, or 8 percent.
Dughaish told Lagniappe he would back Woods in the upcoming race.
“He ran a clean campaign, and he was very professional,” Dughaish said. “His family showed me love and hugs.”
When asked about the endorsement, Jones said that was between (Woods) and (Dughaish).
“It won’t impact our race, or the runoff,” he said.
Rich has already endorsed Jones to replace her.
The District 7 race was easily won by incumbent Councilwoman Gina Gregory, who took 4,412 votes, or 80 percent. Her challenger Alan J. Barnes got 1,189 votes, or 20 percent.
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