1903 Birmingham municipal election
Incumbent Mel Drennen was challenged by Ward 2 Alderman George Ward. Ward accused Drennen of constructing a political machine using city employees, and of running the city's finances into deficit without performing needed public services.
Ward penned a letter to voters outlining three initiatives of "paramount importance" that he would address as Mayor. First, he would demand that the street cleaners improve their efforts. Second, he would pursue having the city purchase the Birmingham Water Works. And third, he would carry out the city's financial business soundly, and with the greatest possible degree of publicity.
Ward acknowledged that most of the committed voters and seasoned campaigners were committed to re-electing Drennen. He appealed to "people who want a change of affairs" to support him, and pledged that his candidacy would employ "neither campaign committee nor campaign funds."
He also reminded voters in that letter that the election was to be conducted under the new Alabama Constitution of 1901 which disenfranchised many former voters. He explained that, "A new registration will commence Monday, February 2nd, and last ten days. No man can vote who does not take part in it, even if he does hold a "Life Certificate" and is over 45 years old or has paid poll tax."
Drennen was re-elected in that race, but resigned from his office within the year, setting up a 1904 Birmingham mayoral election to fill his seat. Aldermen taking their seats after the election included W. R. Gunn and B. H. Cooper in the 5th Ward, John Altman in the 6th Ward.