Stimpson & Jones square off in mayoral debate


Local 15 hosted a mayoral debate with two of Mobile's candidates.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson and former mayor Sam Jones squared off in an one hour debate Monday night.

First topic, crime. Stimpson says when it comes to public safety, he has worked to better what Jones handed down.

"We inherited a situation where our policeman were among the lowest paid in the nation, our equipment was among the worst," Stimpson said. "We put our money where our mouth is, we've given four police raises over the last three years, we've purchased over 300 new vehicles."

Jones argues even with the new purchases Mobile's crime rates are still one of the highest in the state.

"There are issues that take place in this city that could be addressed by some of the social service agencies that we have such as domestic violence, such as youth crime, we've defunded them in this administration," Jones said.

Another hot button issue. Racial unity.

Jones says Stimpon's "One Mobile" slogan is a "PR slogan" and there's no diversity in his administration.

"All you have to do is look at the 10th floor, that'll tell you something about "One Mobile" and how diverse it is up there with the folk who make the decisions and actually run the city," Jones said. "I really think that is simply a statement, there's no substance to "One Mobile" at all."

"There is a lot of diversity throughout my leadership team, it's not just diversity on race, it's diversity of age, gender and thought," Stimpson said. "Our diversity is what created the opportunities that we have in Mobile right now."

Stimpson and Jones were also allowed to ask each other questions.

Jones asked Stimpson about joining and resigning from the "Comic Cowboys," a group that displays racial signs during their Mardi Gras parades.

"I knew that as I was watching that parade go by, what I was reading was not who I was," Stimpson said.

"From my recollection the resignation came only after the media found out that was case and reported it," Jones argued.

"Mr. Jones is either confused or he knows he's not telling the truth because what I told you was exactly the truth," Stimpson said. "I did it before the media found out about it."

Jones and Stimpson also talked about public housing, tourism, people moving from Mobile to Baldwin County and the Carnival cruise line.

Watch the full debate here: