By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Voters in House District 97 go to the polls on Tuesday to select either businesswoman Adline Clarke and attorney Karlos Finley to represent them in the seat vacated by the passage of former state representative Yvonne Kennedy.
Adline Clarke received 40.4 percent of the vote and Karlos Finley received 24.4 percent of the vote. The two will face off in the Democratic Party runoff on April 9. The winner of the Democratic Party runoff will be the next representative because no Republican even qualified to run in the majority Black House District which is considered a safe Democratic seat. Only 9.6% of eligible voters took the time to vote in the special election.
Adline Clarke wrote in AL.com, “Serving others has always been an important part of my life. From serving the public as a journalist and entrepreneur to caring for elderly parents, serving others has made me cognizant of the need for good government – and good leadership.”
Karlos Finley wrote in AL.com, “The House District 97 race is about a new global branding for our state and an escape from the label of “Mobile, the city of perpetual potential.” It is about developing our economy in a healthy manner that will foster growth for our children and grandchildren. This race is about who is best qualified to lead us into the future and ensure that we have safe communities and opportunities to succeed for ALL. I am that leader! A leader with vision who will look outside of the box for solutions when necessary.
Clarke claims the endorsement of the family of the late Dr. Yvonne Kennedy, who represented House District 97 for 33 years. Clarke wrote, “I have received the family’s endorsement, along with the endorsements of the Alabama New South Coalition’s Mobile County Chapter and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union, Local No. 991.”
Finley said in an interview with the South Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, “The overwhelming issues facing the citizens of our district are jobs and education. These issues are so interrelated its impossible to talk about one without the other. In order for our city grow in a healthy way, we must address economic development. Jobs and education are the key to this issue. We are all hoping for a bright future with Airbus coming to Brookley Field. I would like to also see some of the tier one and tier two suppliers located in some of the abandoned buildings on the north side of Downtown. There is good ingress and egress to these locations and the businesses would create jobs in our district as well as throughout Mobile. Also, that would help to rid the area of abandoned dilapidated properties. Bishop State Community College and Brookley Field Aviation College are excellent institutions for training skilled trades persons to fill the positions created by the new industry.”
Polls will open at 7:00 am on Tuesday and will close at 7:00 pm. Voter participation is expected to be light.
The winner will fill the unexpired term of Dr. Yvonne Kennedy who recently passed away after a brief illness. Kennedy served in the Alabama House of Representatives for 32 years. There is no Republican candidate so the winner of the Democratic Party runoff will win the seat.