Phenix Beautiful head to run for council

Phenix City Beautiful Inc. president Georgia Laningham officially stepped into the political realm Thursday, announcing her candidacy for the Phenix City Council District 2 race in front of two dozen supporters on the steps of the Phenix City Public Safety Building.

Laningham, 84, will challenge two-term incumbent Gail Brantley for the council seat on Aug. 26. Brantley, 64, announced her run for a third term late last month.

"I'm really excited about the good things that are happening in Phenix City and all of the good things that can happen," she said.

Laningham said her plan is to be available to everyone in District 2, support redevelopment efforts in the city and implement as many Phenix City Beautiful projects as possible; and work with the council, the city manager and the mayor.

While Laningham and Brantley are the only two publicly announced candidacies for the next council, a number of other races are shaping up.

Mayor Jeff Hardin has not announced a run for a second term in office, but former Mayor Sonny Coulter is planning to run for a fourth term in office.

At-Large Councilman Ray Bush is expected to run for a second term against former At-Large Councilman and current county Chief Appraiser J.W. Brannen and former planning commission member Jimmy Wetzel.

John Storey, the two-term District 1 councilman, does not plan to run for a third term. Former Municipal Court Clerk Max Wilkes plans to run for the District 1 seat.

District 3 Councilman Arthur Sumbry Sr. will run for re-election, apparently against his opponent of four years ago — Bobby Stallings.

Official qualifying for the city elections will be in July.