Montgomery municipal elections are underway today, and all eyes are on the mayoral race.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed entered office as Montgomery's first black mayor in 2019, replacing Todd Strange, who did not seek reelection. Four others are on the ballot opposing Reed on Tuesday, Barrett Gilbreath, Victorrus Felder and Marcus McNeal. So far, Reed and Gilbreath appear to be the frontrunners.

Gilbreath has been the subject of several negative ads from Reed's campaign. The most prominent ad features Gilbreath strung up like a puppet wearing a MAGA hat. The ad claims Gilbreath's campaign is "funded by Trump donors." The ad also uses pictures of Gilbreath and his wife to bash the pair for moving to Florida in the past.

Campaign texts from Reed's campaign also went out in recent months saying Gilbreath was funded by the Alabama GOP (ALGOP). ALGOP Chairman John Wahl immediately rejected the claim since municipal races are nonpartisan.

SEE ALSO: 'Outright lies' — ALGOP accuses Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed's campaign of lying in mass text ads

Conversely, Gilbreath has taken a very mild approach to the campaign, often shying from criticizing Reed directly and focusing on what he believes are the most glaring issues facing the city. Crime, continued issues with city sanitation, and insufficient police staffing lead the way in Gilbreath's campaign priorities.

Additionally, the previously leaked audio of Reed earlier this year has not seemed to hurt him in preliminary polls.

In February, 1819 News published audio recordings of Reed in a series of profanity-laced tirades downplaying his need for the black vote, bashing in-state economic investment in Montgomery.

SEE ALSO: Caught on tape: Montgomery Mayor Reed in apparent profanity-filled rants on black vote, other issues — 'I don't [EXPLETIVE] have to damn get the black vote'

Though the audio clips garnered Reed a fair share of criticism, it hasn't affected his popularity among voters.

Despite leading the polls, Reed has received relatively scant public support from prominent individuals. Thus far, Reed has boasted endorsements from Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, the Montgomery Democratic Legislative Committee and rapper Yung Joc. In his 2019 bid, he received endorsements from then-Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

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