According to comments he made on a podcast last week, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin may be considering a third run for mayor.
Woodfin, first elected in 2017, joined Iva Williams III on the "Intravenous 205" podcast on Thursday. After discussing several of the mayor's priorities for the city, Williams ended the episode by asking Woodfin if he plans to run for mayor again.
Birmingham's next mayoral election is in 2025.
"So we're not saying they're going to be two terms anymore?" asked Williams. "We're not saying that?"
"Man, nawl [sic]," answered Woodfin. "N-A-W-L. Nawl."
Woodfin told the Birmingham Times on Sunday that he is willing to serve another term "[i]f the people of Birmingham will have" him.
A progressive Democrat, Woodfin received an endorsement from self-proclaimed socialist and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) during his first election. Despite this, Woodfin did not endorse Sanders in the 2020 Democratic primary. Instead, he supported Joe Biden. Biden, in turn, endorsed Woodfin for re-election in 2021.
Biden named Woodfin to his Advisory Council of Historic Preservation earlier this year.
Under Woodfin, Birmingham has experienced a violent crime epidemic unprecedented in the city since the early 1990s. Last year was one of the most violent years in the city's history, totaling 144 homicides. The violent crime wave has continued into 2023.
In response, Woodfin called for stricter gun regulations, specifically in urban areas.
Nevertheless, Woodfin has been accused of using his budgeting authority as mayor to restrain the Birmingham City Council from providing adequate resources to the Birmingham Police Department, which struggles to recruit personnel while competing with surrounding municipalities.
Meanwhile, Woodfin was a major proponent of the World Games in 2022, which cost the city millions before going $14 million into debt. Woodfin urged the city council to fork up $5 million to the World Games to pay back vendors.
The World Games event was expected to have an economic impact of $256.5 million, but a study found in December that the "direct" economic impact was only $11.7 million. The same study claimed the games had an "indirect" economic impact of $165 million, though it's unclear how this was calculated.
Woodfin has advocated for other bread-and-circus-type projects, such as a $15 million "family fund center" at the Birmingham CrossPlex and Birmingham's new Caraway Amphitheater, which requires $5 million in startup costs from the city.
Birmingham mayors serve four-year terms. There are currently no term limits, though Woodfin himself advocated for a bill in 2018 that would limit Birmingham mayoral terms.
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