By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On August 11, the Vietnam Veterans of America in Limestone County have announced a Candidate Meet and Greet for the State House District 5 special election. The event will be held on August 11th from six to eight pm at the Vietnam Veterans Building, 17915 Elm St. in Athens.
According the Vets, all six candidates have confirmed attendance – Danny Crawford (R), Chris Seibert (R), Ronnie Coffman (R), Mike Criscillis (R), Jerry Hill (R), and Henry White (D). Each candidate will be given 5 minutes to speak to the audience starting at 6:30pm. Afterwards, the candidates will mingle with the audience, giving voters the opportunity to talk to the candidates one on one and get to know their future representative. This event is open to the public.
The Special Primary election for House District 5, will be held on September 29, 2015, with a Special General election scheduled for December 8, 2015, if necessary. The winner of the Republican Primary will face Democrat Henry White February 16, 2016 (December 8, 2015 if there is no need of a GOP primary runoff election).
The Alabama House District 5 seat became open following the untimely death of Representative Dan Williams (R-Athens). Williams was a former Mayor of Athens. Rep. Williams died on July 1 from leukemia.
Governor Robert Bentley announced the timeline for the special election on Thursday, July 9.
Gov. Bentley said in a statement, “Rep. Dan Williams worked hard for the people in the 5th district and the city of Athens. My prayers are with Dan’s family during this difficult time. I know Dan will be truly missed, but his legacy will forever live on.”
Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) said in a statement, “The state of Alabama and the citizens of Limestone County lost a dedicated public servant in the passing of Rep. Dan Williams. Mayor Dan, as he was affectionately called, was a hard-working and effective legislator who worked tirelessly for his constituents. His perpetual good cheer and devoted friendship will be greatly missed in the halls of the State House. Susan and I offer our sincere condolences and prayers to Representative William’s family and the people of the 5th district.”
District 5 covers Limestone County.
The Governor has given all third-party candidates, independent candidates, and/or minor party candidates who are seeking ballot access until Tuesday, September 29 to file the appropriate notification, petitions, or supporting paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office.
To get on the ballot third party candidates have to get registered voters from the district to sign petitions allowing them to be on the ballot. It is a very cumbersome and expensive proposition.
Wayne Reynolds is the National Treasurer and the Alabama President of the Vietnam Veterans of America.