New acting mayor of Birmingham steps away from election politics

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham's new acting mayor says he will keep mayoral election politics out of his work.

On a five-four vote Tuesday, the council selected Roderick Royal as the new council president, replacing Carole Smitherman in the position. It also makes him acting mayor until the December 8th special election.

Royal says the fact that he is not in the race allowed him to get support on the council. Both Smitherman and new President Pro Tem Steven Hoyt are in the race.

Royal says he is only interested in running an efficient city council. "At the end of the day I am council president and not mayor," says Royal. "I have nothing to cover, nothing to hide. Whatever relationship I create in the mayor's office I will have to take back to the council. It's not to my benefit personally not to be more transparent."

Mayor Royal says he will not publicly support a candidate in the special election. He says that would be disruptive.