By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday Governor Robert Bentley announced the timeline for a special election to fill the vacant District 30 seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. The 30 seat was held by Representative Blaine Galliher, but he has left it to serve in the Bentley Administration as Legislative Director.
Etowah County School Board member Mack Butler (R) has already announced his candidacy for the seat.
Gov. Bentley said, “Blaine Galliher served the people of District 30 with honor and integrity, and it’s important to maintain representation of District 30 in the House of Representatives,” Governor Bentley said. “This timeline was designed with several priorities in mind. We want to make sure candidates have time to qualify, we want to make sure voters have time to learn about the candidates, and we want to allow ample time for those who are unable to vote in-person to arrange a vote by absentee ballot. The timeline should also allow sufficient time for the next District 30 representative to be in place in time for the next regular legislative session.”
Alabama House District 30 covers portions of Etowah and St. Clair Counties. A special primary election for the District 30 seat will be held on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. To qualify to run on either major party’s ticket you must qualify with the party by Friday, August 24, 2012. The two major political parties must turn in their list of qualified candidates no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, August 31.
St. Clair County Republican Party Chairman Freddie Turrentine told, ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that Etowah County School Board member Mack Brown has already announced his candidacy and is running for the office as a Republican. Chairman Turrentine said that he knows of a couple of other candidates who are exploring possibly also running for the seat. Chairman Turrentine said, “We are going to work hard to get the winner of the Republican Primary elected and we will do whatever it takes to hold on to the seat for the Republican Party.” Chairman Turrentine said that the St. Clair County Republican Party will hold its’ regularly scheduled meeting on September 20th in Ashville at 6:00 pm and said that the public can meet the Republican candidate or candidates there.
The primary will then be on Tuesday, October 23. If a special primary runoff election(s) is necessary, they will be held on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. If runoff elections are not necessary, the special general election will take place on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. If a runoff election(s) is necessary on December the 11th, then the special general election will be held on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.
The Governor’s press release said, “All third-party candidates, independent candidates, and/or minor party candidates seeking ballot access are advised that their deadline for filing the appropriate notification, petitions, or supporting paperwork with the Secretary of State shall be Friday, August 31, 2012, at 5:00 p.m.”
Richard Rutledge, the Chairman and CEO of the Conservative Party of Alabama told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that this was, “Not a fair process at all.” Rutledge said that the major parties simply had to present a list of candidates to the Secretary of State’s office for their party primary by August 31. A candidate for a Third Party or an independent candidate however is going to have to organize a petition drive to get enough signatures to even get ballot access and then has to have all that done with accompanying paperwork turned in in just 24 days. Chairman Rutledge said that the independents and third parties should be given the same amount of time as the Democrats and Republicans who don’t have to present a candidate until after their Party primaries. Chairman Rutledge said it was, “Not the Governor’s fault.” He blamed the two major parties whom he said have conspired to prevent third parties from having ballot access.
Our sources in the Alabama Democratic Party insist that they will field a candidate in the House District 30 special election. They have declined to announce who that candidate is and did not want to go on the record. Off the record they expressed.
If you are a voter who lives in District 30, prepare for a busy fall.
On August 28th, there will be local elections for Mayor and City Council in many cities and towns in Alabama.
On September 18th the voters of HD 30 (like the rest of the state) go to the polls to vote yes or no on Amendment One. The legislature is asking voters to allow them to raid $435 million from the Alabama Trust Fund over three years to prop up Alabama’s embattled general fund.
Then on October 30th the voters in District 30 go to the polls to vote in the party primaries to select a state representative for District 30. Voters will be asked to choose either a Republican Primary ballot or a Democratic Primary Ballot.
Everyone in the state will then vote a week later on November 6th. This time the election is for President of the United States, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, the President of the Public Service commission, your Congressional Representative, more amendments to the State Constitution including whether or not to continue funding Forever Wild, and any county offices on your ballot.
On December 11th, voters in House District 30 will be back again either voting in their party’s runoff election or the general election to select a state representative.
If necessary, HD 30 voters will be back voting again on January 29th for state representative if a runoff was necessary on December 11th.