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Samuel “Sam” Jones is the first Black mayor of Mobile, Ala. After years of serving in a smaller public office role, Jones took the city’s top job in 2005 before losing an reelection bid in 2013. Jones, a native of the city, gradated from Central High School. He attended college in Jacksonville, Fla., graduating from Jacksonville University. Jones served nine years in the U.S. Navy under the command of Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona aboard the USS Forrestal aircraft carrier.

Jones’ work in the civilian sector led to him becoming the executive director of Mobile Community Action, Inc. from 1980 to 1987. He then began serving the first of four terms as the Mobile County Commissioner. Jones made history by becoming Mobile’s mayor in September 2005, winning the support of locals across all demographics with a promise of bringing economic development and government structure to the city.

But Jones’ reign as mayor came to an end in August 2013 after he lost a tightly-contested race to Republican businessman Sandy Stimpson. This summer, Jones was appointed to the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service’s Board of Commissioners.

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