Former Birmingham Mayor William Bell has formally announced his candidacy for the city’s upcoming mayoral election following an unofficial announcement in early February.
The 71-year-old, who served as Birmingham’s 33rd mayor, from 2010 to 2017, made his formal announcement via YouTube Monday evening.
Bell’s announcement video featured the candidate highlighting his experience and history of service to and leadership of Birmingham. Bell said the problems in the community are because of current administration.
“Four years of ineptitude and mismanagement has our city hurting and adrift,” Bell said. “People out of work, children out of school, families losing homes and, more importantly, loved ones.”
Bell repeatedly focused on current crime rates, growing debt and unemployment as key failings that motivated him to join the race. While never explicitly using his name, he was direct in his critique of incumbent Mayor Randall Woodfin, who defeated Bell in the 2017 election.
“The stakes are just too high for the current mayor to learn on the job,” Bell said. “He’s in over his head, and it shows. His promises just haven’t panned out.”
Along with his YouTube announcement, Bell launched a campaign website. It includes a brief biography, his campaign video and a list of specific priority areas including more and better jobs, safer neighborhoods and blight removal.
Bell joins a growing field of candidates seeking office in the August 24 election. These include incumbent Mayor Woodfin, as well as Jefferson County Commissioner and President Pro Tem Lashunda Scales, businessman Chris Woods, activist Darryl Williams and philanthropist Cerissa A. Brown.
Edited by Ryan Michaels