Twelve years in the past, Ms. Jones, whose household had struggled in the course of the housing disaster, wrote a foul verify for groceries. In Mr. Nathews’s hand was a printout detailing simply that. He wouldn’t say who had given it to him, however that that they had executed so with a message: “This is who you’re supporting.”
“Well, hell, who hasn’t bounced a check in Montevallo? We’re all poor around here,” Mr. Nathews had joked. But Ms. Jones was humiliated. A couple of days later, an nameless Facebook account started sharing the doc in town’s group pages, and a few residents referred to as for additional “background checks” on Ms. Jones. (Mr. Brown stated Mr. Nix’s marketing campaign had nothing to do with the doc or Facebook account.)
The political contours of the race grew sharper. On a group Facebook web page, one voter shared an article on “cultural Marxism,” encouraging customers to debate the way it would possibly apply to Montevallo’s upcoming election. The Montevallo Progressive Alliance, a gaggle of native activists, endorsed Ms. Jones, placing her on the hook for the group’s posts on issues like “reproductive justice” and “microaggressions.” that she insisted bore no relevance to her imaginative and prescient as mayor.
It was a imaginative and prescient that in actual fact didn’t differ a lot from Mr. Nix’s. Their solutions in candidate boards on questions on infrastructure, security and financial development had been largely the identical. But by that time, their perceived variations on nationwide points overshadowed all the things else.
When Patrick Mayton, whose spouse, Tonia, was working for a spot on the City Council, noticed the submit warning of Montevallo’s future by pointing to the defund-the-police banner in Austin, he appeared exasperated.
“This is NOT Montevallo’s future!!!” he pleaded in response. “I appreciate you and others on here wanting to be vigilant against communism and police defunding, but I am confident that we do not need to fear these scenarios.”
An encounter on the polls
What saved Greg Reece, Ms. Jones’s marketing campaign supervisor, going was the promise of seeing Ms. Jones’s grandmother, who got here of age in Jim Crow Alabama, stroll into the polling station and solid a poll for her granddaughter.