What I’m Reading… Lagniappe on Mobile’s Mayoral Election

“Mayor has testy email history with citizen”
(note – the online version has a different headline)
by Katie Nichols
Issue – July 11, 2013 – July 24, 2013
page 6

“A campaign sputtering in the summer heat”
by Rob Holbert
Issue – July 11, 2013 – July 24, 2013
page 12

With the The Mobile Press-Register becoming a three-day-per-week paper and cutting its local newsroom, there is a major void in print media here in Mobile. Fortunately, Lagniappe, the free, twice-per-month alternative newspaper has taken up some of the slack. Most alternative papers lean left politically, so it has been surprising that Lagniappe has become the chief critic of Sam Jones, Mobile’s first African-American mayor.

Jone is facing a reelection challenge from Sandy Stimpson. In the current issue, Lagniappe’s staff keeps its foot squarely on Jones’ neck. In a news piece, Katie Nichols recounts Jones’ testy, sometimes-ungrammatical email exchanges with a local minister named Jim Mather. In an opinion piece, Rob Holbert – perhaps Jones’ chief critic – paints Jones’ campaign as an unfocused fiasco.

Elsewhere in the issue, Lagniappe advertises its July 30th mayoral forum at the Ben May Library. Stimpson has agreed to appear at the forum, but Jones has declined.

Oh what a difference a few years can make. Jones was widely praised during his first term (2005-2009) and was reelected without opposition in 2009. But Jones has been repeatedly criticized in his current term and Stimpson has launched a very-visible campaign. My “eyeball” analysis from driving around Mobile shows a sad racial split. On the east side of town, which is predominantly African-American, Jones signs dominate. On the west side, which is predominantly white, signs for the white Stimpson dominate. With Mobile’s registered voters split roughly 50-50 between the races, this could be a divisive campaign.

The vote is August 27th.

UPDATE (22 July) – one person wrote to object to my description of Jones as “widely praised” during his first term. If interested, please see comments…


About mobilemojoman

I have been a Mobile resident for about a decade. Working as a college professor keeps me off the streets and pays the bills. I am married to a woman (the MojoWoman) who is a much better person than I am and we have two beautiful girls who keep us both jumping. My interests are varied - food & drink, sports, politics, exercise, books, travel, Mardi Gras, and all of life's rich pageant. In the future, I'd like to learn more about sailing, photography, Cajun/Creole cooking, making beer and wine, and writing.
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2 Responses to What I’m Reading… Lagniappe on Mobile’s Mayoral Election

  1. BigOyster says:

    MojoMan – one thing that needs correcting above is the part concerning Mayor Jones being “widely praised” in his first term. That was the ultimate “do nothing” four years… he was not praised by anyone. The biggest racial element of this upcoming election is voting for another 4 years of the same weak leadership of the previous 8 years strictly based on the mayor’s skin color.

    • Big Oyster,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I’ve noted your objection @ the end of the story. Whether Jones was “widely praised” or not, the tone of the press’ coverage certainly has become much more negative in his second term.

      The vote is going to be interesting in August.

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