Mark your calendars: Mayoral candidates scheduled for live forum Feb. 18

Three candidates seeking the mayor’s office will participate in a live forum broadcast by WVUA 23 on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. The recording will air again on Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. and Feb. 21, at 9 p.m.

The question and answer forum, organized by the League of Women Voters of Greater Tuscaloosa (LWVGT), will be hosted by WVUA 23’s Mike Royer and moderated by Kim Bailey of the LWVGT. 

Walt Maddox is seeking his fifth term as Tuscaloosa mayor. Since 2005, he has led the city through the 2011 tornado and introduced Elevate Tuscaloosa, a half-billion dollar program that aims to invest in the city’s future. 

Since his first campaign for mayor, he has faced opposition once. This year, two political newcomers and UA graduates have entered the race. 

Martin Houston, pastor of Harvest Church and former Crimson Tide football player, was endorsed by his former championship coach, Gene Stallings. If he wins, Houston has pledged to increase accessibility to the mayor’s office for Tuscaloosa residents. 

UA English professor Serena Fortenberry has been active in the community as a board member of Tuscaloosa Neighbors Together, a local advocacy group, and has organized other community groups. She resigned from her position on the board to enter the mayoral race. Fortenberry is running on a platform of transparency and fiscal responsibility for the city.

The LWVGT will also host forums for city council candidates. 

UA student Sam Badger and incumbent Kip Tyner are invited to attend the community forum on Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. for the District 5 seat. 

Both the city council and mayoral forums will livestream on the LWVGT’s YouTube channel and archived on their Facebook page. The complete list of official times, dates and candidates  is located on WVUA 23’s website. 

Municipal elections will take place on March 2.