The contentious election in Mountain Brook ended with a sweeping victory for the incumbents and those familiar with the city's political scene.
The election has drawn attention due to the hotly debated social issues surrounding the city's school systems. Concerns about the indoctrination of students with ideas such as LGBTQ issues, Critical Race Theory, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), political correctness, and Marxism have led to many unfamiliar faces throwing their hats in the ring.
ThevVotes began pouring in until 7 p.m., but the incumbents held a consistent lead throughout the day.
The only seat up for grabs that did not have an incumbent running was Place 1 on the council, where Graham Smith, a Mountain Brook Planning Commission member, defeated Christopher Powanda, 73% to 27%.
Even though Smith was not an incumbent, Place 3 candidate Tate Davis told 1819 News that Smith had become tight with the incumbents and had been "included in that group."
"It's been pretty contentious," Davis told 1819 News. "Unfortunately, people have been lumped into groups. You've got the good group, which is the incumbents, and anyone challenging the incumbents is a bad guy."
Councilor Lloyd Shelton beat the challenge from Davis in Place 3, winning 67% to 33%.
Powanda told 1819 News that he decided to run after several incidents, most notably an event in which a video circulated of a Mountain Brook student drawing Nazi swastikas on himself.
The school system brought in training from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) titled "No Place for Hate" after the event.
Powanda stated that, while he and others adamantly condemn antisemitism, the training from the ADL was inappropriate due to the ADL's highly politicized status.
Powanda said, "I've been working with a number of the people in the Jewish community and different faith groups, trying to find a path forward with our community without relying on an organization as politically motivated as the ADL."
William "Billy" Pritchard defeated challenger Kent Osband for Place 3, winning 70% to 30%.
According to Osband, a significant motivating issue for him was the school system being secretive with its teaching material.
"They are just not being forthcoming with parents about the curriculum," Osband told 1819 News. "And my view is that they use licensing restrictions to smuggle in a lot of woke curricula, and the antidote for that is just to make that curriculum transparent and let the parents see. When the school says, they can't show parents because of licensing restrictions, well, just drop that curriculum. If they have licensing restrictions, it's a tell-tale sign of something wrong. They don't put licensing restrictions on math or physics curricula; they only put them on Social Emotional Learning.
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