MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) The election is still five months away, but campaign signs are popping up all over Mobile as the city's mayoral race heats up.
Longtime Mobile businessman Sandy Stimpson is new to politics. But that isn't stopping him from trying to unseat Mayor Sam Jones for the Port City's top position.
"I'm Sandy Stimpson. And I was born and raised in Mobile," Stimpson said as we began our interview Tuesday afternoon.
As executive Vice President of his family company, Scotch Gulf Lumber, Sandy Stimpson is a businessman. The sudden move to politics wasn't a decision made lightly.
"I just felt like I couldn't sit on the sidelines any longer thinking that things could be better, traveling to other cities seeing that they were progressive and we didn't seem to be quite as progressive. We've gotten Airbus we've gotten TK, but we're losing population in our city," said Stimpson.
As Mayor Sam Jones runs for re-election on the slogan "Too Busy To Be Divided," Stimpson's slogan is "One Mobile." And both signs can be seen all over town.
"There are a lot of people looking for the change," he said.
If elected, Stimpson said he'll focus on lowering crime. "I believe you've got to do a better job of supporting police. They haven't had a raise in awhile," he said.
He also wants to improve Mobile's quality of life and says a good start is focusing his efforts downtown.
"Unless we can do a better job downtown, we will never achieve the potential we could achieve. We've got to be able to get to the water front," said Stimpson.
But his top priority is making things easier for small business owners.
"We've rolled out the red carpet for the big guys, which is great, but we're strangling the small business owners with red tape. When they interact with city hall it's just a problem. Postponement after postponement, especially in the area of getting permits. So we've got to address it," he said.
He's got a long campaign road ahead of him, but Stimpson wants voters to know he isn't afraid to let loose.
A YouTube video
of him doing the famous Harlem Shake has more than 20,000 views.
"There's a lot of business to be done, but you can have fun doing business," he said.
Stimpson has raised around $500,000 for the campaign. His goal is to raise $1 million by election day August 27.