Mayor Larry Langford took the oath of office Tuesday, November 13, followed by several hours of an inaugural celebration downtown. The swearing-in capped months of campaigning and years of what he calls stagnation and getting few things done in the city. Langford’s never been at a loss for words and he’s come into his new job with high hopes and lots of ideas. They are plans that will cost money in a city that doesn’t have an endless supply of it. He is likely to encounter people who will stand in his way, rightly or wrongly. One thing’s for sure: he’s well-prepared. Langford’s career spans decades in metro Birmingham, from marketing beer, to the mayor’s office in Fairfield, to representing one district of the county — even presiding over the Jefferson County Commission. Now, he’s going back to the place where he cut his teeth as a reporter, to be asked questions just like he did way back when. WBHM’s Steve Chiotakis caught up with him in Southside.
On Monday, November 26, a challenge by second place mayoral candidate Patrick Cooper alleging Langford was not a legal resident of Birmingham (and therefore not qualified to run for mayor) was dismissed by Judge Allwin Horn. The case went to court the day after Langford was inaugurated with evidence on both sides of the argument. Judge Horn ruled that Langford showed reasonable evidence that he indeed was a resident of the city and did qualify to run and hold office. No word from Cooper as yet whether he plans to appeal the ruling.
~Steve Chiotakis, November 12-26, 2007