DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — Long–time Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling announced on Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2025.
It’s a decision that he says he’s considered after recently speaking with a close friend.
The decision did come as a surprise to many in the city government, but some feel that the timing of the announcement is in question.
Bowling said that the decision was made nearly a month ago after consulting with a close friend. Decatur city community leader Andrea Hoffmeier feels that the timing of the announcement is questionable due to controversy over the Sept. 29 shooting by a Decatur police officer of Stephen Clay Perkins.
“To me, it is wholly inappropriate for Tab Bowling to state that he is not running for reelection at this time of instability,” Hoffmeir explained.
Bowling said that the decision was made to not seek reelection nearly a month ago.
“In light of things that have happened recently in the city I thought Monday night during our work session would be a good time to inform our residents,” said Bowling.
Bowling was elected in 2016. In 2020 he was the first mayor in nearly 30 years to serve back-to-back terms. However, the mayor chose to look forward to things to come outside of the political arena.
“The freedom that it brings to not have to worry about politics, or the campaign and fundraising,” said Bowling. “Not doing all of those things will be good but just focusing on the job is amazing.”
Hoffmeier has regularly faced off with bowling at city council meetings. Hoffmeier told News 19 that the mayor should not wait to step down in two years.
“Tab Bowling should absolutely step aside now. Wake up and look at his record. Look at what he has done so far. In a year and a half we can have a whole lot more damage done,” said Hoffmeier.
Bowling said criticism comes with politics.
“We’ve seen over time that those same folks will come in one day and say ‘hey man I didn’t mean to say that and can you help me with this’ and whatever. Emotions are high right now and we will play the long game,” said Bowling.
Bowling did acknowledge that he has viewed the video of the police-involved shooting of Stephen Perkins on social media, as well as new information released by police as part of the investigation. But chose to defer any further comment about the incident to Decatur Police Chief Todd Pinion.