Jimmy Blake

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James Davis "Jimmy" Blake (born c. 1952) is a physician and former member of the Birmingham City Council, representing District 3 from 1993 to 2001. He also served for a time as chair of the Alabama Libertarian Party.

Blake earned his bachelor's degree at Auburn University and his M.D. from UAB. He owns the Hoover Family Medicine practice in the Lorna Plaza shopping center in Hoover.

Blake ran for Mayor of Birmingham in 1991. He finished third behind Richard Arrington Jr (seeking his fourth term) and attorney Emory Anthony, but garnered only 4% of the votes.

Blake was first elected to the Council in the 1993 election. He earned a reputation as a spoiler, often casting lone votes in opposition to proposals made by Mayor Arrington. He was a stickler for parliamentary procedure and frequently launched into bitter diatribes against what he considered to be stupidity on the part of his fellow councilors. On the other hand he had several successes negotiating compromises between competing interests at the City Council and at the neighborhood association level. Bill Ricker served as his council assistant. The Council reportedly created its Public Health Committee in order to give Blake a harmless committee assignment. The committee was eliminated in 2002.

In 1995 Blake secured an hour-long daily talk radio program on WYDE AM 850 by walking into the station office and saying he'd like to host an afternoon show.

In 1996 Blake, a longtime Libertarian Party member, unsuccessfully campaigned for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retirement of Howell Heflin. Then Alabama Attorney General Jeff Sessions won the nomination and the seat.

Blake was one of the leaders of the organized opposition to the MAPS public projects initiative in 1998. The RAPS group that he helped launch promised an alternative proposal to meet the same goals, but never produced anything after the MAPS referendum failed.

In 1999 Blake was cleared of wrongdoing by the Alabama Ethics Commission on a question of whether while on the City Council he voted on issues of health insurance for city workers on which he may have had a conflict of interest due to his medical practice. In 2001 a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge dismissed charges brought by Blake in 1998 that Arrington and attorney Donald Watkins defamed him and conspired to injure his medical practice.

In the 2001 Birmingham City Council election Blake did not run for re-election to the council and was suceeded Valerie Abbott.

In 2002 Blake ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Commission President Gary White for Jefferson County Commission District 5. He was ruled ineligible for the Republican nomination on a question regarding residency requirements, so he filed as an independent. A judge upheld his contention that the 6-month residency requirement should date to the time a candidate takes office. Both Blake and White opposed additional borrowing to expand the Jefferson County Sewer System, but Blake differed from White by opposing support for the proposed expansion of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

In 2005 Blake went back on the air co-hosting a public debate program with Frank Matthews on WOTM-LP, a low-powered television station carried on Charter Cable.

Blake's wife, Mary Anne was killed in an automobile accident on U.S. Highway 280 near Overton Road on June 2, 2008.


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