Mayoral Mandate: What Massive Margins Mean To Mayors

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - In the wake of Tuesday's municipal elections, Former Huntsville Mayor Steve Hettinger points out, "As someone once said, you campaign in poetry, and you govern in prose.  It becomes the hard work now."

The campaign is over, and Huntsville and Madison residents have chosen who will govern the cities for the next four years.
But with Tommy Battle raking in more than 80% of the vote and Troy Trulock not lagging too far behind with 79%, do the pair have a special mandate to govern?

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Hettinger says, "I think a mandate lasts about two weeks in my opinion.  From then on, people are always watching to make sure.  They're trying to determine if you're doing a good job or not."

Mayor Tommy Battle saw a strong affirmation of his own record, according to Hettinger.  

But down the road in Madison, some say there's a similar feeling of continuity.

Madison Mayor Paul Finley says, "80% of Madison basically went with the candidate who said, 'We like what's going on.  We want to continue to build off that.'"

Mayor-Elect Troy Trulock may find himself with a little extra time to work with, because of the convincing electoral win.

Hettinger believes, "The new mayor of Madison, he's got a little more time to make himself be known and his changes felt."

Finley adds, "When you have that many folks in a fairly low turnout, I think it means that people are relatively happy."

But the dirty secret of politics, is while voters may sometimes be happy, they can also be fickle.

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