Will Sandy Stimpson Have a Challenger?

Mobile, AL (WKRG)
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson may be positioning himself to run unopposed for reelection this summer. The campaign recently touted an impressive war chest to close out the year. They raised $449,232 from September through the end of November.

“What he’s doing is trying to make sure he can be mayor and not get tied up running a race,” said Jon Gray with Strategy Research. “Sandy wants to make sure there’s nobody running against him he thinks he’s done a great job the people of the city of mobile think he’s done a great job compared to what other opponents in the past have raised,” said Gray.

Looking at the same time period in 2012, then incumbent Mayor Sam jones only raised $7,165 for his reelection in new contributions. Jones campaign ended November 2012 declaring a total war chest of $28,752. Earlier this summer, Sam Jones said he was thinking about running for mayor again but as of February 2016 reported less than $800 in his campaign coffers. We asked Jones this past week for an update on his decision on whether or not to run and told a reporter “no comment.”

“Sandy Stimpson beat Sam Jones and he knows one of the reasons was he out-raised him, Jones didn’t get started early enough, some say he was he was a little lazy in how he went about his campaign,” said Gray. “Sandy Stimpson’s not going to let that happen to him.” While Stimpson has a strong start–nobody’s invincible.

“At the end of the day money’s not everything, we saw this with Robert Bentley in 2010, he was well outspent at the beginning and he still won the governor’s race,” said Gray. The deadline to file to run for Mobile Mayor is in July but Gray says anyone who wants a realistic shot at unseating Stimpson would have to start serious fundraising by the end of January.

22% of the money Stimpson raised during that time period comes from the South Alabamians for Good Government. The PAC sent Stimpson’s campaign a single donation of $100,000.  The group’s treasurer told News 5 they support Stimpson’s work and appreciate his enthusiasm for the job.

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