HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – “At this point,” Mayor Battle says, “we’re looking and listening. We’re going to listen to people from throughout the state and make a decision at a later point.”
But before looking toward the next election, Mayor Battle says he wants to pay the voters back for the last one, “My number one priority has to be . . . making sure we take care of the city of Huntsville.”
So sure, Mayor Battle may ponder gunning for a different nameplate, but he’s still got a lot of questions of his own, “Can I achieve what I need to for Huntsville? [I] signed on for a four-year term. Can you do that and also run for governor and serve as governor? Big issue. Do I want to leave the best job that anybody could ever have right here? That’s another big issue.”
Of course, it’ll be a while until voters hit the polls in 2014, and so we may have to wait a while to see if Battle aims for the ballot.
He says, “I’ll make my decision by first of the year.”
But he’s already looking at a few issues that make the race tempting.
First, he singles out education. The mayor specifically cites problems with the Alabama Accountability Act, “That was legislation that was poorly put together. It ended up taking money from public schools and giving it to private schools. I have a problem with that.”
Next, roads remain a big calling for Battle. We’ve heard a lot about this from him in recent weeks, “Infrastructure, which is roads, is very important. We’re working with the governor’s office right now to try to come together with a plan that can take care of Huntsville’s roads and Madison County’s roads.”
Battle is turning to keeping school funding in public hands instead of private and spending more money on roads, but he says he wants to run as a Republican.
Here – he breaches into a vein of rhetoric we don’t hear as often in Alabama, “One of the things government has gotten away from is the idea that you reach across the aisle, that you work with people. If you look up here, I may have Republican roots, but I dare say, I have a number of people who probably have some Democrat background who work with me. And it’s time to reach across the aisle.”
The mayor says voters should set the party line – instead of leaving that up to the party infrastructure in Montgomery, “The party has a party line, I think, is what you would call it. I think that the people direct where the party line is, not certain people who are leaders in the party.”