Fmr. Montgomery Mayor Emory Folmar has died

Emory Folmar during a 1999 interview with WSFA 12 News.
Emory Folmar during a 1999 interview with WSFA 12 News.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Former Montgomery Mayor Emory Folmar has died. He passed away late Friday evening. The Folmar family says it will not release a statement until Saturday, but did say Mr. Folmar died peacefully.

Born to Marshall Bibb and Miriam Pearson Folmar in 1930, the Pike County native attended schools in Troy and Montgomery. After graduation, he attended the University of Alabama where he earned a B.S. Degree in Business.

In the 1950s, Folmar served his country in the United States Army. He earned medals including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Events in early 1977 catapulted Folmar from city council president to acting mayor. His predecessor resigned after a scandal rocked the Montgomery Police Department.

Folmar won the job outright in an election where he was one of more than 40 candidates on the ballot, and he won it without a runoff. Folmar quickly established himself as a fiscally conservative, no nonsense, pistol packing mayor who strongly supported the police department, appearing almost daily at the first roll call of officers each day.

He took no salary - enjoying the financial comfort of a successful family business developing shopping centers around the south. He was a Republican when being a Republican didn't get you elected to statewide office.

After being rarely out-maneuvered politically on the local level, Folmar made an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1982, losing to Democrat George Wallace who won an unprecedented 4th term. Four years later, he stood on the sideline as fellow Republican long-shot and political unknown Guy Hunt took advantage of a Democratic voter backlash and was elected governor.

Folmar prided himself for maintaining the city's finances on an even keel - keeping reserve accounts filled to deflect a downturn in the economy. Despite his steady hand and budgetary prowess, the voters decided to make a change at City Hall in the summer of 1999.

Folmar lost to another political unknown - attorney Bobby Bright. Folmar didn't languish on the political beach. Instead he jumped back into the frey - taking an appointment as the head of the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control board, a position he held during the Riley administration.

Emory Folmar is survived by his wife, Anita Pierce Folmar, as well as by children and grandchildren. Mr. Folmar was 81-years-old.

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