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Friday, September 09, 2005

Mayoral Race Update (Mobile)


As the Tuesday runoff draws ever closer, the Mobile mayoral runoff is starting to heat up. As we noted on Wednesday, John Peavy unleashed a fairly negative attack ad against Sam Jones questioning his qualifications and leadership. The Mobile Register has an interesting piece detailing the differences in the two candidates' positions without some of the vitriol.

In a badly needed (but not suprising) development, former candidate Bess Rich has endorsed fellow Republican John Peavy. Though both are Republicans, Rich had some pretty harsh comments about Peavy in the initial primary campaign. The Mobile Register details some of Rich's attacks on her erstwhile opponent:

In a direct mail piece that Rich distributed prior to the election, she accused Peavy of:

  • Voting to increase taxes three times, "yet now he states our taxes are too high."
  • Voting to approve the last city budget but now complaining there are not enough police officers. "He was in a position to do something," stated the mailer.
  • Sponsoring a bill to significantly increase mayoral and council salaries. Peavy later backed off his support, and the proposal died.

Rich has put such negativity behind her for the moment and is emphasizing the common bonds she has with Peavy. Rich's campaign message actually more closley resembles Sam Jones in its outsider message of change. Realistically, though, if Rich wants a future in GOP politics, she probably had to endorse Peavy. Similarly, Ann Bedsole's decision to not make an endorsement is further evidence that she is through with elective politics.

Rich's endorsement doesn't change the dynamics of the runoff that have always been in Sam Jones favor. But for Peavy to have any chance at a majority on Tuesday he must completely consolidate the Republican leaning support that was previously splintered among himself, Bedsole, and Rich. Bess Rich's endorsement is a necessary piece of the puzzle for the Peavy campaign which is running hard, but also running uphill.

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