Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The future vs the past
Last night attorney Patrick Cooper finished first in the primary for Birmingham's Mayoral race. His challenger in next months runoff will be current Jefferson County Commissioner and former Birmingham Mayor William Bell. Mr Cooper finished with around fourty percent of the vote while Mr Bell barely nudged out Carole Smitherman with a percentage in the low teens. This is just a guess but right now I would give the edge to Mr Cooper in next months runoff. Mr Bell was the Mayor of Birmingham back in 1999. He was also at the time pretty much in the same situation that Mr Cooper finds himself in this morning. Mr Bell barely missed winning the 1999 Mayor's race outright in the primary by just a few hundred votes over Bernard Kincaid who finished in the teens. But when the runoff election occured Mr Kincaid stormed to a surprising upset over Mr Bell by finishing with a 51 to 49% win over Mr Bell in late 1999. One would assume with the roles kind of being reversed, this might help Mr Bell this time around but he's facing an energetic young attorney in Mr Cooper who in most aspects is viewed as an "outsider" running in a city that has gone through a lot of trouble recently thanks mainly to the so called "insiders". While Mr Bell is not implicated in any of the wrongdoing that nearly lead the area to a record bankruptcy he is a classic insider in the sense that he's been an elected official in Birmingham for a few decades now. Mr Bell also performed very poorly in the single digits when he ran for Mayor two years ago in Birmingham while Mr Cooper finished second in what was his first race for an elected office. It should also be noted that if Mr Cooper wins this race he will probably gain national attention in democrat party circles in short order because he is in the same mold as the Artur Davis's,Harold Ford Jr's and Barack Obama's. One final note on the Birmingham Mayor's race concerns yesterdays third place finisher Carole Smitherman. In the last few weeks she has taken quiet a fall from being the first female Birmingham Mayor in modern history. She was also the City Council President but then the new Birmingham City Council was sworn in and the new council quickly removed her from the Mayor and Council President's post and then came yesterdays flame out in the Mayor's race. Thats quite a fall for a woman whose married to the leader of the Alabama State Senate and who doesnt have any known legal problems facing her.