Except he is not.
In a lawsuit obtained by CBS News, Braxton alleges that city council members Gary Broussard, Jesse Donald Leverett, Voncille Brown Thomas, and Willie Richard Tucker as well as former mayor Haywood Stokes III conspired to hold an illegal election to reappoint Stokes and keeping Braxton out of office.
Upon his decision, he encountered many obstacles. When Braxton asked Stokes about how to run, he said he was given incorrect information and led on a wild goose chase. Allegedly, residents were also not informed about the election. Despite these challenges, Braxton successfully turned in his statement of candidacy and qualifying money order, the two requirements to run for office.
Braxton was the only person eligible for the mayoral position, according to his lawsuit. No other resident attempted to run and Stokes did not complete the necessary paperwork, despite being aware of Braxton’s intention to run. Additionally, council members did not complete their paperwork. In line with his duties as mayor, Braxton appointed new members after being informed by County probate Judge Arthur Crawford.
In November, they swore themselves into office, despite Braxton already assembling his own town council. According to the lawsuit, Stokes and his town council filed their oaths of office with the probate judge, an action Braxton was unaware of.
“When confronted with the first duly-elected Black mayor and majority Black Town Council, all defendants undertook racially motivated actions to prevent the first Black mayor from exercising the duties of this position and the first majority Black Town Council from exercising legislative power,” the lawsuit says.
Stokes and his council members vehemently deny any wrongdoing, claiming that their behavior was not “so egregious that a constitutional right is clearly violated,” according to Law and Crime. This conflict arises as Alabama faces pressure to address gerrymandering and draw a second majority-Black congressional district.
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Source: Black Enterprise