As I predicted a few days ago
, the mayoral races in Mobile and Tuscaloosa are both headed for runoffs on Sept. 13. Mobile's race
is down to Mobile County Commissioner Sam Jones and City Councilman John Peavy, while Tuscaloosa's showdown
will be between former Council President Sammy Watson and City Councilman Walt Maddox.
Mobile's election turned out as I thought, but Tuscaloosa's was a bit of a surprise. In Mobile, Jones, the overwhelming frontrunner, was just a few percentage points shy of an outright victory, with Peavy rustling up enough votes to beat out the other candidates for a spot in the runoff. Barring a miracle, though, Jones is Mobile's next mayor.
Watson easily qualified for the Tuscaloosa runoff with 38 percent of the vote, but I expected his showing to be more along the lines of Jones'. I also would have guessed that businessman Mark Booth, not Maddox, would be the second man in the runoff. As it is, Maddox's finish was strong enough that he realistically could overcome his 7-point gap over the next three weeks. And despite Booth's elimination Tuesday, his endorsement could decide Tuscaloosa's next mayor.