By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Democratic voters selected Anthony “Alann” Johnson in Birmingham’s House District 53 Democratic Primary runoff on Tuesday over Arthur Shores Lee by just 61 votes.
Anthony “Alann” Johnson prevailed over Arthur Shores Lee in a runoff for the Democratic nomination for Alabama House of Representatives District 53.
As of press time, Johnson had 297 votes (almost 56 percent of the vote) to Lee’s 236 (44 percent of the votes cast).
Johnson told Al.com’s Madison Underwood, “I am honored, I am humbled, I am thankful, and I’m excited about doing the work of residents of House District 53.”
Johnson had received 41.5% of the vote (229 votes) in the four person primary field. Johnson said on Facebook prior to the victory, “Without a doubt, I am the most-visible, hardest-working and best qualified candidate, bar-none. I thank God, my family, friends and supporters who believe in me, helped to groom and polish me and always provided words of encouragement.” “Help me to continue to do what I love in a more official capacity by electing me as the next State Representative of House District 53. Thanks. Sincerely, Anthony “Alann” Johnson for House District 53.”
Anthony “Allan” Johnson is a former senior legislative assistant in the Georgia House of Representatives. He studied theology at ITC Morehouse School of Religion and is the grandson of Civil Rights Movement era minister Rev. Dr. Nelson Henry Smith Jr. Johnson is the executive director of Leadership Jefferson County and an associate minister at Zion Star Missionary Baptist Church.
Johnson wrote in Weld for Birmingham a year ago, “The same struggles of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s are much the same as those that exist today in 2013. The disenfranchised and marginalized want access to the socioeconomic and sociopolitical infrastructures of society. They want to have access to the basic staples of life, such as healthcare, food, shelter, mental health, safe streets, community sustainability, a low sales tax, transparency in government and fiscal responsibility, transportation, a healthy environment, self-empowerment, gainful employment and living wages, a better quality of life for our veterans and our elderly, and a brighter future for our children and youth.”
The Special Democratic Primary election in Birmingham was necessary because of the passing of long time incumbent state Representative Demetrius Newton (D), 85, on September 11th.
The Democratic primary runoff was scheduled to be held on January 28, but was postponed by Governor Robert Bentley til today because of a rare winter storm.
Anthony “Alann” Johnson will still have to face Republican Willie (W.A.) Casey in a special election on March 25. Willie (W.A.) Casey is a resident of Birmingham, a real estate broker, a deacon of the historical Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, and a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served during the Korean War. W.A. Casey has been a small-business owner for many years and is heavily involved in his local community.
The 2014 legislative session began on January 14 so it is very likely that the legislative session will be almost over by the time the eventual winner is sworn in.
The eventual winner will likely face a Democratic incumbent in the 2014 election because the Birmingham inner city House District will be folded in to one of two neighboring districts due to redistricting based on the 2010 Census which showed a massive population drop in the City of Birmingham over the last decade.
House District 53 will be moved from Jefferson County to Huntsville in Madison County and the area that is HD 53 now will be absorbed by two neighboring districts.