Bessemer Mayoral Candidates: How long have they lived in the cit - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Bessemer Mayoral Candidates: How long have they lived in the city?

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Incumbent Mayor Kenneth Gulley has two challengers in Bessemer's August 26th mayoral race. Both of them are newcomers to living inside Bessemer city limits.

Four years ago, this was an issue for Mayor Kenneth Gulley. He had a house in Hueytown with his family and moved to Bessemer a year before the election, while his daughter finished high school at Hueytown High. Election results showed that other issues mattered more to the voters

Gulley moved back to the Bessemer home five years ago- before taking office.

“There is no law against having more than one property,” said Gulley. “But my residence and stuff is the city of Bessemer. We fought this battle four years ago."

Gulley is running for re-election to continue the work he started.

“We inherited a 20 million dollar deficit,” said Gulley. “I'm very proud to say we're 12-15 million in the black today. We've been able to give our employees a much needed cost of living raise."

Gulley has two challengers this year.

Andre Petties has a business to help public-private partnerships. He just moved to Bessemer this year, but says he lived close by for a decade.

"Decided to move into Bessemer to make a difference,” said Petties. “I hear a lot of people saying, well you're not from Bessemer. Well, no, I'm not. But, I live here now and I'm about Bessemer."

He's lived in New York, Chicago and New Orleans.

"I have a lot of knowledge on different cities and how things work,” said Petties. “I'd like to take that knowledge and get outside the box in Bessemer, no more business as usual."

Another businessman in the race is Anthony Underwood.  He moved to Bessemer from Hoover six months ago.

"I always had a presence in Bessemer,” said Underwood. “When I lived in other cities, Bessemer has been my home as far as my work place. I've started business here twenty plus years ago."

Underwood wants to make Bessemer people's first choice to live in.

“I see the contrast between Hoover and Bessemer,” said Underwood. “I want to make Bessemer a place that it can be attractive, that our school kids can get a great education.”

Even though they may not have lived in the city long, all the candidates say they want to make Bessemer a better place to live.

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