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Your voices have been heard, Birmingham. You voted for change and received it. There are new faces on the city council, the school board and in the mayor’s office.
City Council Runoff Wins
With more than 70% of the vote, Hunter Williams secured his seat on the city council. He beat out incumbent Kim Rafferty. Rafferty served the council for eight years, and voters decided it was time for her to go.
Williams owns a small business and works as a reserve deputy sheriff with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. He is also president of the Crestline Neighborhood Association.
City Council President Johnathan Austin lost his seat to Darrell O’Quinn. The Birmingham Times called this race “intriguing.” Yes, it was. A dead heat, O’Quinn squeaked in with 51% of the vote.
In August’s race, Austin received the most votes out of seven candidates, with 1,358, with O’Quinn right on his heels, with 1, 104 votes.
While serving on the council since 2008, Austin was a controversial incumbent. During his time on the board, the former alt-weekly Weld deemed him “a lousy public servant.”
O’Quinn serves as the president of the Birmingham Citizens Advisory Board, an organization representing all of Birmingham’s 99 neighborhoods. He is also a clinical veterinarian at UAB.
John Hilliard now represent District 9. He beat Roderick Royal. Hilliard served as a former state legislator, while Royal once served as council president.
School Board Runoff Wins
Douglas Ragland beat Cedric Small for the District 1 win.
Daagye Hendricks’ upset over Edward Maddox put her in the District 4 seat.
David McKinney lost to Michael Millsap, who now represents District 5.
Patricia McAdory beat Walter Wilson in District 7.
Sonja Smith now represents District 8 after beating Patricia Bozeman-Henderson.
New Mayor In Town
After 11 years, Birmingham has a new mayor. Former school board president Randall Woodfin replaces William Bell.
He’s young (36 years old), he’s progressive (backed by Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution) and he’s pure Birmingham.
Yesterday voter turnout was at 34%, Birmingham. We are moving up, ya’ll. That’s up from 27% during the August city elections.