1963 Birmingham municipal election

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Albert Boutwell in 1963
Albert Boutwell in 1963

The 1963 Birmingham municipal election was held on March 5, 1963 to elect a mayor and fill nine at-large seats on the newly-approved Birmingham City Council, which replaced the former Birmingham City Commission.

It was the first election held after the City of Birmingham adopted the Mayor-Council Act of 1955 as its form of government. Though all three members of the outgoing City Commission refused to leave office and filed suit to keep their positions, two of them, Bull Connor and J. T. Waggoner, Sr, qualified for the mayoral ballot.

The election was won by Lieutenant Governor of Alabama Albert Boutwell, a moderate who defeated Connor in the April 2 run-off. In the general election, Boutwell won 39% of the vote to Connor's 31%. Tom King polled 26% and Waggoner 4%.

[edit] City Council

The Birmingham City Council in 1963: 1st row, L-R: E. C. Overton, Nina Miglionico, M. Edwin Wiggins, George Seibels. 2nd row, L-R: Alan Drennen, Tom Woods, Don Hawkins, John Golden. Not pictured: John Bryan
The Birmingham City Council in 1963: 1st row, L-R: E. C. Overton, Nina Miglionico, M. Edwin Wiggins, George Seibels. 2nd row, L-R: Alan Drennen, Tom Woods, Don Hawkins, John Golden. Not pictured: John Bryan

Seventy-six individuals filed papers of qualification to appear on the ballot. Voters were required to select nine candidates at large. Ballots with more or less than nine marks were ruled invalid. John Bryan, Don Hawkins, George Seibels, and M. E. Wiggins were elected to four year terms. Alan Drennen, John Golden, Nina Miglionico, E. C. Overton and Tom Woods were elected to two-year terms. Wiggins was elected President of the Council.

[edit] Candidates

Thirty-four of the 76 candidates qualified from Birmingham's 10th Precinct (East Birmingham). Seventeen qualified from Precinct 21 (downtown Birmingham); 13 from Precinct 9 (West End), 3 from Precinct 42 (North Birmingham) and one from Precinct 52 (Wylam).

Only two of the qualifying candidates, attorney W. L. Williams, Jr and Reverend James Lowell Ware, were African-American.

[edit] References

  • Logue, Mickey (February 18, 1963) "76 in race for council's nine seats" Birmingham News - accessed via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
  • Solomon, Jon (February 20, 2013) "Jabo Waggoner: State senator hopes he's half the man his dad was as Birmingham commissioner." The Birmingham News
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