2021 Birmingham municipal election
The 2021 Birmingham municipal election was a municipal election held on August 24, 2021 to fill the positions of Mayor of Birmingham and all nine seats on the Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Board of Education.
It was the third concurrent ballot for Mayor and City Council after the election cycle for Mayor was changed by state law in 2010. The election was held prior to redistricting from the 2020 U.S. census.
Candidates were allowed to begin fundraising one year prior to election day on August 24, 2020. The official qualification period for candidates was between June 25, 2020 and July 10, 2021. The certification of the election results is scheduled to take place on August 31, 2021.
36,791 of Birmingham's 145,564 registered voters appeared at the polls, for a turnout of 25.3%. Votes were collected at 68 precincts. In the mayoral race, incumbent Randall Woodfin earned a commanding 64% of votes cast in an 8-way race to win a second term outright. He garnered at least 50% of the vote in every precinct, but saw his strongest support in the southern and eastern parts of the city, topped by two Avondale precincts where he won 87% of the vote.
All of the incumbents running for city council finished at the top of the ballot, but sitting Council President and District 4 representative William Parker was forced into a run-off with J. T. Moore, while District 9 representative John Hilliard goes to the run-off against LaTonya Tate.
Two incumbents in the Birmingham Board of Education, Terri Michal (District 2) and board president Daagye Hendricks (District 4) were defeated by challengers Neonta Williams and Derrick Billups respectively. In District 1, Sherman Collins slightly outpolled incumbent Douglas Ragland, without enough votes to avoid a runoff matchup. Another runoff is scheduled between newcomers Le'Darius Hilliard and Jason Meadows in the District 9 seat left vacant by Sandra Brown's decision not to run.
Runoff elections in District 1, District 4 and District 9 will be held on October 5, 2021. On a day marked by heavy showers, only 3,919 ballots were cast, representing about 8% of the 46,734 registered voters living in districts facing runoff elections.
- Randall Woodfin (incumbent), 23,616 votes (64.3%), winner
- Lashunda Scales, 7,625 votes (20.8%)
- William Bell, 3,354 votes (9.1.%)
- Chris Woods, 1,562 votes (4.3%)
- Cerissa A. Brown, 236 votes (0.6%)
- E. Philemon Hill, 149 votes (0.4%)
- Darryl Williams, 120 votes (0.3%)
- Napoleon Gonzalez, 47 votes (0.1%)
Note: Where a candidate's nickname is present, that is how their name was shown on the ballot.
The following is a list of candidates announced their intent to run, but either failed to qualify or withdrew their run.
Randall Woodfin announced his re-election campaign for the Mayor's office on August 25, 2020 and held a campaign kick-off event on January 30 at George Ward Park. Steven Hoyt, current District 8 representative, and Darryl Williams, announced their bids for the Mayor's office during the week of August 24, 2020. Chris Woods announced his candidacy on January 13, 2021, followed by Lashunda Scales on Martin Luther King Jr Day, January 18. Former mayor William Bell confirmed his intention to run on February 2. Cerissa Brown formally announced her candidacy for Mayor at Legion Field on February 13. E. Philemon Hill entered the race in May.
A "Mayoral Town Hall Debate" sponsored by the Jefferson County Millennial Democrats and moderated by Dana Woodruff was held at the Lit in 8th nightclub on June 24. Woodfin, Scales, Bell and Woods were invited to participate.
An online debate co-sponsored by Al.com, The Birmingham Times, Summit Media, CBS 42, and the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists was held on August 17 with all mayoral candidates invited to participate. Janae Pierre moderated that debate, with questions from a panel which included Roy S. Johnson, Barnett Wright, Sherri Jackson, Cody Short and Shelia Smoot. Woodfin, Scales, Bell, Brown and Hill participated. Woods was unavailable and Gonzalez was unable to participate due to technical difficulties. A number of topics were discussed during the event, but Woodfin's "Birmingham Promise" attracted the most comment from challengers who viewed the program as self-serving and a drain on public school funding.
On September 8 the Woodfin campaign announced that they had raised $270,000 in their first week fundraising. Major contributors included Eric Bledsoe, Charles Barkley, Raymond Harbert, and Shipt. He later reported large donations from the North Alabama PAC, Sheree Acheson, Marcel Dareus, Margaret Hemberg and London Ash.
Bell's challenge was supported by David Shelby, Triangle Partners, and United PAC. Scales reported major contributions from Marion Collins, Raymond Brooks, Shedrick Vance, Ralph Sanders and Win Pac-2018. Chris Woods took large donations from the Alabama Development PAC as well as James Andrews, Christopher Travis, Robins & Morton and R. P. Wilkin.
- Wright, Barnett (September 8, 2020) "Randall Woodfin raises $270K – in one week – for second term as Birmingham Mayor" The Birmingham Times
- Committee to Elect Randall Woodfin. Campaign Finance Report Filings. Jefferson County Probate Court (August–October 2020)
- John Hilliard. Campaign Finance Report Filings. Jefferson County Probate Court (September–October 2020)
- Garrison, Greg (January 13, 2021) "Chris Woods runs for mayor, blames Woodfin for ‘riots’." The Birmingham News
- Taylor, Drew (January 18, 2021) "Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales running for mayor of Birmingham." CBS42.com
- Prickett, Sam (February 9, 2021) "Candidates Lining Up to Run for Birmingham City Council." BirminghamWatch
- Prickett, Sam (February 16, 2021) "Field of Candidates for Birmingham Mayor Continues to Grow." BirminghamWatch
- Prickett, Sam (May 18, 2021) "New Challengers Enter Birmingham City Elections." BirminghamWatch
- Wright, Barnett & Carter Dewees (June 24, 2021) "Poll: Woodfin Has Commanding Lead in 2021 Birmingham Mayor’s Race" The Birmingham Times
- Prickett, Sam (June 28, 2021) "Birmingham Elections Begin Officially as Candidates File Qualifying Papers." BirminghamWatch
- Martin, Virginia (July 10, 2021) "Birmingham Elections Ballot Set." BirminghamWatch
- "2021 Birmingham Mayoral Candidate Profiles" (August 16, 2021) WBHM.org/Birmingham Watch
- "Who’s Running For Birmingham City Council?" (August 16, 2021) WBHM.org/Birmingham Watch
- "Birmingham Mayoral Debate 2021: How to watch." (August 17, 2021) The Birmingham News
- Michaels, Ryan (August 18, 2021) "Birmingham Mayoral Debate Turns Testy Over Woodfin’s Scholarships Program." The Birmingham Times
- McDonald, Virginia (August 24, 2021) "Two Incumbents, Including President, Ousted From The Birmingham School Board Of Education." BirminghamWatch/WBHM.org
- Archibald, Ramsey (August 25, 2021) "Randall Woodfin waltzed to reelection on Tuesday: Here’s where he earned the most votes." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent & Roy S. Johnson (October 5, 2021) "Two Birmingham council incumbents lose reelection bids in Tuesday runoffs." The Birmingham News