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Cooper, Bell face off for Birmingham mayor

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Attorney Patrick Cooper and Jefferson
County Commissioner William Bell are seeking to replace Birmingham's ousted mayor in a race that took on racial overtones even though both candidates are black.

The two men met Tuesday in a runoff election to succeed Larry
Langford, who was convicted in a bribery conspiracy in October and
automatically removed from office.

They're vying to fill the almost two years remaining on Langford's term.

In predominantly black Birmingham, Bell's supporters have raised
questions about whether Cooper is too close to the white community.

That drew an angry rebuke from Cooper during a debate last week,
and Bell said race has no place in the election.

Birmingham's estimated population of 210,000 is about 75 percent
black.


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