Former Mobile Mayor Sam Jones is seeking the city’s top job again.
Jones, who served as mayor from 2005 to 2013, announced his run for mayor during a Saturday afternoon event at the Greater Nazaree Baptist Church in Mobile. Jones was Mobile’s first black mayor.
“I’ve come to tell you that I am running for mayor,” he said, before a crowd in the church, where Jones said he grew up attending Vacation Bible School.
The energetic crowd continually shouted the phrase: “All in,” to show their support for the former mayor.
Jones, 68, lost to current Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson in the 2013 mayoral election.
Stimpson is also seeking re-election. He’s the only other candidate who has announced intentions to run for the office in the Aug. 22 municipal election.
Jones was elected to the Mobile County Commission in 1987 and served four terms before running for mayor.
As he exits, Sam Jones reflects on his tenure as mayor, the election, race, and ‘I’ll be watching’
Mobile secured a $600 million Airbus aircraft assembly plant during Jones’ tenure as mayor.
“We have spent a lot of time looking at observing what is taking place in our city in the last three and half years,” Jones said, during his address.
He said the city’s revenue base is dropping.
Jones was appointed to the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service board of commissioners in 2014.
During his address, Jones mentioned how members of the City Council initially fought his appointment.
Jones played a role in getting the Mobile Government Plaza designed and built in 1995.
The county recently completed $1.1 million in renovations to the building.
Before he left office in 2013, the Mobile City Council voted unanimously to support naming the building “Samuel L. Jones Government Plaza.” The Mobile County Commission hasn’t voted on the matter.
Earlier this week, Jones sent out an announcement seeking campaign volunteers.
“The fate of our city is in our hands and we need every voice to be heard,” he stated. “We need your help to build a strong, organized, and aggressive grassroots operation. So I am also writing to ask you to join our team as a campaign volunteer.
“There’s no special expertise required, and you don’t have to have to be a political expert,” Jones continued. “Like me, all you need is the personal commitment, determination, and belief that you can help make a difference in the quality of life for the citizens of Mobile. I firmly believe that volunteers like you, are the most important part of any political movement.”