By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Candidates who want to run in the Special Election for Alabama House District 34 have just hours to qualify. Candidates must have $1000 and their competed paperwork in the hands of their party officials at either the Republican or Democratic Party headquarters no later than 5:00 on Friday.
Alabama House District 34 was vacated when Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appointed current Representative Elwyn Thomas to serve as the Executive Director of the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission.
On August 21 Governor Bentley said in a written statement, “I appreciate Representative Thomas for his many years of service in the Alabama House of Representatives, and it’s important that we published this special election time line. This time line will give candidates time to qualify for the election, it will give voters time to learn about the candidates, and it will allow time for voters to arrange a vote by absentee ballot if necessary. This time line should also help us ensure that District 34 will have representation in place by the next regular legislative session.”
As of press time only Blount County Probate Judge David Standridge has qualified to run for House District 34 as a Republican. House district 34 covers most of Blount County and stretches into northern Jefferson County.
The Alabama Political Reporter caught up with Judge Standridge in February when he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Congress against incumbent Representative Spencer Bachus.
Blount County government combines the jobs of Probate Judge and Chairman of the County Commission into one elected position currently held by Judge Standridge. Standridge grew up on a small farm in Blount County. His parents worked both their farm and off farm jobs. Standridge grew up helping his parents on their farm. Standridge said that his parents worked very hard and now have one of the nicest farms in Blount County and their son is the county commissioner. “That is the American dream.”
Judge Standridge said, “We live within our means (in Blount County government) and we paid off our entire long term debt.” “We are debt free.” “It doesn’t make sense to put on debt that our children and grandchildren will have to deal with.”
Judge Standridge said, “We had to make hard decisions in Blount County. I still have people who are upset about that.” Judge Standridge said that it is going to take some hard decisions to get the nation “back on track.” “I believe in an American where we live within our means.”
Judge Standridge has been married to his wife Dana for 30 years and they have three children. Their daughter is a stay at home mom. Their oldest son is a Captain in the Air Force and works for the Air Force on special projects in Colorado Springs. His youngest son recently graduated from veterinarian school.
Judge Standridge said that his career before politics was in law enforcement. He went to work for the Montgomery Police Department. Later he took a job working for the Montevallo Police Department. To move closer to home he then took a job with the Blount County Sheriff’s Department. Standridge said that he has done almost every job in the Blount County Sheriff’s Department from patrol officer to investigator to jail manager. Standridge said that he has been told that his experience as a jail manager could come in handy in Washington. Judge Standridge went to the National FBI Academy. Standridge first got into politics by running for the Blount County School Board. Later he ran for Probate Judge. Judge Standridge said, “There are things about trying to manage government right,” that are true at the school board level, at the county level, and at the national level.
The special primary election for the District 34 seat is going to be held on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. If needed, the special primary runoff elections will be held on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. If there are no runoff elections, the special general election would take place on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. If there is a runoff election on December 11, the special general election will be held on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.
The two major political parties have to certify their qualified candidates to Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 14, 2012.
If there are any third-party, minor party, or independent candidates who want to run for HD 34 their deadline for filing the all of the appropriate notifications, petitions, or supporting paperwork is Friday, September 14, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. To be valid signers of the petitions for ballot access must be registered voters whol live in House District 34.