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Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle exploring a run for governor

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle has formed a committee to explore whether he should run for Governor of Alabama in 2018.

Battle, who’s in his third term as Huntsville’s mayor, considered a run in 2014, but decided there were still a number of city projects he wanted to shepherd.

The timing may be better for a bid in 2018.

“You know we’re getting this little gray hair and everything,” he said. “We have a shelf life, which is you know, for so many years. You want to make sure whatever you do, you can be effective.”

Battle said he has a proven track record as a fiscal conservative. He also points to Huntsville’s job growth, successful road projects, continued development and his ability to work effectively with a diverse city council.

But, he wants to have some basic questions answered before he makes a bid for governor.

“Can you be effective? Can you win?” Battle said. “Third question is can you make sure that Huntsville stays being successful?”

After years of turbulence in Montgomery, the next governor will have to be ethical and find a way to work with the Alabama Legislature to move the state forward, Battle said.

Huntsville has enjoyed a string of successes and Battle said he is interested to find out if his approach could work on the state level.

“We have a model up here that we’ve been able to achieve,” he said. “And it’s not just me, I mean it’s been a whole group of people, a leadership group of people who’ve been able to achieve it. Is that model transferable? Can you transfer that model to the State of Alabama?”

The mayor’s job is nonpartisan. But Battle will run as a Republican if he seeks the state’s top job.

“I was a Republican before Republican was cool. I have been a Republican for 40 years.”

It won’t be long before Battle makes a call on his future.

“Probably late April, early May is kind of where our time frame is,” he said. “In the meantime Mrs. Battle and I will be talking a lot about it.”