New Leadership in Mobile, Tuscaloosa
Both Mobile and Tuscaloosa are swearing in new mayors this week to replace political institutions.
After tumultuous campaigns, both cities see a new day dawning on city government. Mobile now has its first black mayor in Sam Jones and Tuscaloosa transitions from the 80 year old, 24 year mayor Al Dupont to 32 year old Walt Maddox.
Jones and Maddox, both Democrats, are currently in similar situations, but probably have different futures ahead of them. To Jones, who served more than 3 terms on the Mobile County Commission, running city hall is his crowning achievement and most likely the last stop of his political career.
However, Walt Maddox's political career is just beginning. After one term on the Tuscaloosa city council, the ambitious Maddox ran as an outsider promising to bring sweeping change to Tuscaloosa city government. Even if Maddox serves two or three terms as Tuscaloosa mayor, he will still be young enough to embark on other political ventures. Artur Davis alluded to Maddox's ambition yesterday,
"Mark my words here today: This is an important step in the life of Walter Maddox. It's the beginning step on a path that, if God continues to bless him, will take him to heights that we cannot see today,"
I am not sure quite how ambitious Maddox is, and of course his political future will rely on a successful tenure as mayor, but he seems to have the political skill and the ambition to be a player in Alabama politics for decades to come.
AlabamaElections congratulates Mayors Sam Jones and Walt Maddox and wishes them and their cities success.
(I discussed the mayoral campaigns frequently during both the primary and runoff stages. Scan the August and September archives for relevant posts.)