Preview: Race for Phenix City Mayor heats up

Preview: Race for Phenix City Mayor Heats Up

PHENIX CITY, (WTVM) -  Elections in Phenix City are exactly one month away, and while several city council seats are up for grabs, two candidates are running for mayor.

Incumbent Eddie Lowe is seeking re-election for a second term as the city's first black mayor. He's facing Jerry Barbaree, who was born and raised in Phenix City.

However, this race won't be between bitter political rivals, according to both Barbaree and Lowe.

"I've been knowing Eddie for a long time," Barbaree said. "In fact, we worked together at the cable company, years ago."

"I know Jerry, I know his whole family," Lowe said. "He's just doing what the country allows us to do."

Lowe said he welcomes Barbaree's challenge to his re-election bid. Among his proudest accomplishments as mayor so far, he said one achievement was helping Phenix City stabilize its finances and earn an AA rating from Standard and Poor's. 

"When they come out and give you a AA rating, they don't just give that away," Lowe said.

Lowe said he's also proud of launching the Positively Phenix City campaign to boost the community's spirits. 

"It shows that we care about people," Lowe said. "You have to take care of your biggest asset, which is people."

Barbaree, a retired health care executive, said if elected, he would invest heavily in the city's redevelopment.

"I'm looking at developing the Riverfront, from bridge to bridge and north up toward Publix," Barbaree said. 

Barbaree said he'd also ask for the City Council's help in restoring some of the city's infrastructure. 

"If you drive through south Phenix City, Midtown, North Phenix City... the pavement, the sidewalks are in disrepair," Barbaree said. 

The two competing campaigns agree on one thing - they want voters' support to help lead Phenix City toward the future.

In a series of debates slated for the first week of August, Lowe plans to highlight other accomplishments such as his scholarship fund for the Mayor Ball, and Barbaree will bring up his proposal to strengthen the Phenix City Board of Education's role in the city.

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