By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Adline C. Clarke, a businesswoman, former journalist and a spokeswoman for the Housing Authority, has defeated attorney Karlos Finley for the Alabama House District 97 seat vacated by the death of Yvonne Kennedy
As of press time Clarke had 1,165 votes Finley’s 1,003. A key element to Clarke’s victory was a decisive 153 to 7 vote margin in absentee ballots cast.
In the primary, Adline Clarke had received 40.4 %percent of the vote and Karlos Finley had received just 24.4 % of the vote in the crowded seven candidate field. Since no Republican even qualified to run in the majority Black House District which is considered a safe Democratic seat Clarke will be the House District 97 representative.
Adline Clarke said in a written statement, “For over three decades, I have had the honor and privilege of serving the Mobile community as a newspaper journalist, entrepreneur, agency administrator, and as a community volunteer. Representing you in District 97 would be an extension of my decades of service to a host of community service organizations, including Sickle Cell Disease Association, the YWCA, Mercy Medical, and Senior Citizens Services.”
Clarke said on Facebook, “”The story of my life is I have stepped up and accepted challenges as they’ve been placed before me.”
Clarke was endorsed by Patsy Dow (the wife of former Mobile Mayor Mike Dow), “I support Adline Clarke because I know she will honorably and effectively represent the citizens of District 97. She is an exceptionally hard-working, progressive-thinking, and compassionate person and I trust her to speak for me and the residents of District 97 in Montgomery. We need Adline Clarke working for us.” Clarke also had the endorsement of several members of Yvonne Kennedy’s family.
Clarke said, “House District 97 is dear to my heart. I have lived and worked in the district for most of my adult life. There is a dire need for us to have effective and honest leadership in order for District 97, our city, county and state to continue making positive strides.”
Clarke owns ‘Black Classic Books and Gifts’ and ‘Jamabalaya.’ She was also the former owner of a temporary job service, Norrell Staffing Services. She currently serves as Senior Vice President of Business and Community Relations for Mobile Development Enterprises, a subsidiary of the Mobile Housing Board. Clarke is also a former reporter for the Mobile Press-Register.