The Race for Mayor: The Runoff

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Birmingham voters elected a new mayor on Tuesday (1/19). Jefferson County Commissioner William Bell’s 54% of the vote beat Patrick Cooper’s 46%, with roughly 40% of registered voters going to the polls. We’ll have analysis from Birmingham Weekly’s Kyle Whitmire on All Things Considered Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday, January 15th, both Bell and Cooper spent an hour in the studio fielding questions for listeners.

This is Jefferson County Commissioner William Bell’s fourth run for the mayor’s office. Bell tells WBHM’s Tanya Ott that better education and job creation are key to moving the city forward. So is reducing crime.

Bell wants to establish a venture capital fund to help university researchers bring their ideas to the marketplace. Hear more about that in an
extended interview.


Patrick Cooper came in second in the 2007 mayor’s race. He is selling himself as a political newcomer, a clean break from the politicians that have dominated Birmingham’s political scene. Speaking with WBHM’s Bradley George, Cooper says one of his priorities as mayor would be jobs for the chronically unemployed. He plans to put them to work taking care of the city’s parks and working in the library system. Patrick Cooper says despite Birmingham’s recent budget issues, he knows how to pay for his jobs plan.