|Huntsville, Alabama Mayor Tommy Battle (on right)|
|67th Mayor of Huntsville|
November 3, 2008
|Preceded by||Loretta Spencer|
December 3, 1955 |
Battle served one term on the Huntsville City Council from 1984-1988. He made an unsuccessful run for mayor in 1988. Battle moved to Huntsville in 1980 to operate Britling's Buffet, which he sold in 1989. Battle owns or is managing partner in several firms in the retail and real estate sectors. He is married to Eula Battle and has one adult son, Drew. Battle is a graduate of the University of Alabama, from which he holds a B.S. degree in business.
Battle announced his candidacy against incumbent Mayor Loretta Spencer on March 26, 2008. In his campaign, he sharply attacked Spencer on several issues. Among these were cost overruns and delays on a city jail constructed in Spencer's term; the city's controversial involvement in the relocation of a downtown rescue mission into a residential neighborhood; and what Battle claimed was inequitable treatment of some city neighborhoods, particularly minority areas. Prior to the first round of voting, Spencer was endorsed by The Huntsville Times. The Committee of 100, a prominent group of business leaders, issued a joint endorsement of Battle and Spencer.
In the municipal election on August 26, 2008, Spencer led Battle by 14,871 votes to 14,486. However, two minor candidates received 673 votes, preventing Spencer from attaining a majority, forcing a runoff with Battle. During the runoff campaign, Battle sharpened his attacks on Spencer, and pointed to a "bridge to nowhere," echoing a national controversy over a federally funded bridge designed to serve only a handful of people. The bridge in question was constructed by the city, and ended at an undeveloped empty lot. Spencer claimed the lot was expected to be developed at some point in the future. In the runoff, on October 7, 2008, Battle decisively defeated Spencer, by a vote of 21,123 votes or 56 percent for Battle, to 16,821 or 44 percent for Spencer.
In August 2012, Battle was elected to a second four-year term with 80.7% of the vote, defeating Jackie Reed (4.1%) and former mayor Loretta Spencer (15.2%).
- Before 1916, the office was known as "President." Battle is the 11th to hold the title of "Mayor."
- "Huntsville's History of Mayors". City of Huntsville, Alabama. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
- "Former Councilman Battle Seeking Mayor's Job". The Huntsville Times. March 27, 2008. p. 2B.
- "Candidate Profile: Tommy Battle". WHNT-TV.
- "Battle Pitches Platform to Bring Change". The Huntsville Times. July 2, 2008. p. 6B.
- "For Huntsville Mayor". The Huntsville Times. August 17, 2008. p. 20A.
- "Committee of 100 Endorses Spencer, Challenger Battle". The Huntsville Times. August 22, 2008. p. 2B.
- "Spencer, Battle to Meet in Oct. 7 Runoff for Mayor". The Huntsville Times. August 27, 2008. p. 1A.
- "Battle Decries 'Bridge to Nowhere". The Huntsville Times. September 18, 2008. p. 1A.
- "Battle's Victory over Spencer Decisive". The Huntsville Times. October 7, 2008.
- Tommy Battle for Mayor: Official Website
- WAAY-TV: Tommy Battle victory speech, October 7, 2008
- http://www.huntsvilleal.gov/mayor/ City of Huntsville Website: Official Biography]