By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, September 29, Republican voters in Alabama House District 5 in Limestone County go to the polls to elect the Republican candidate to run in the special election for District 5. HD5 became vacant when state Representative Dan Williams (R-Athens) died. The Office of the Secretary of State, in conjunction with Limestone County Judge of Probate Charles Woodroof, are conducting a pilot project to collect and report results from the special Republican Primary Election for District 5.
According to details released to the public, after the polls have closed on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., the first results will be electronically transmitted to the Office of the Secretary of State and streamed to the website. The plan is for the Limestone County probate office to continually update numbers throughout the evening.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) said, “The objective of live reporting is to allow our citizens to be informed and track the results as they come in. This will be a great resource for our citizens, providing efficient and real time election results, as well as ensuring the information is readily available. I want to thank Judge Woodroof and his staff for their partnership with this project.”
All offices are asking that this pilot project be for media outlets only and that the web address not be released to the public at this time. It is hoped that in future elections the Secretary of State’s office and the Probate Judges can get the results to the press and to the people much quicker than what has been done in the recent past in Alabama.
Five Republicans are contending for the seat.
Mike Criscillis is a retired US Army Command Sergeant Major living in Athens. Criscillis said he is a problem solver and is willing to work for the people to find answers. Criscillis is for balancing the budget without raising taxes and supports education.
Ronnie G. Coffman of Elkmont recently campaigned against the purposed 12 Mil Property Tax increase in Athens, Coffman said that if voters send him to Montgomery he will oppose all efforts to raise state taxes. Says state doesn’t have a funding problem, we have a spending problem. Promises to work to repeal Common Core in Alabama Schools. Coffman is a registered land surveyor and is a former Chairman of the Limestone County Republican Party.
Danny F. Crawford says he will oppose tax increases and support reforming the budgeting process. Crawford says that the divisiveness in Montgomery is being fueled by those who would use the general fund shortfall to further their personal agendas. Crawford says that it’s time to stop intimidating voters with scare tactics and threats in an effort to raise taxes or legalize gambling. Crawford is a former Limestone County and state executive director of the Farm Service Agency (FSA). He is a former member of the Athens City Council.
Jerry W. Hill of Athens is a former Athens City Council member, a retired soldier, a past candidate for Congress and a Green Beret during the Vietnam War. Hill said that tax increase is not necessary to have level funding in our general fund budget for fiscal year 2016 and that we have more than adequate funds in the reserve account to cover the $200 million shortfall. Hill believe that legalized gambling, statewide, would not be in the best interest of our citizens; but would be in favor of allowing the people to vote on a state lottery if there were adequate controls in place.
Chris Seibert is a member of the Athens Citi Council, a former Tide football player, a former US Air Force Captain and works as a medical sales director. Seibert says that he wants Limestone County to continue moving forward and believes in serving the people and making sure Limestone County continues to receive jobs, economic development and their fair share from Montgomery. Limestone County needs to have the resources to build new roads and infrastructure, support our law enforcements, and preserve our conservative values. Seibert opposes new taxes and vows to cut the wasteful spending and do more with less. Seibert says he is opposed to new taxes, will protect our values, and will fight the liberal special interests in Montgomery.
The special primary election for House District 5 will be held on September 29, 2015. If none of the candidates reach 50 percent of the vote plus one there will be a special primary runoff scheduled for December 8, 2015. If one candidate wins the special primary outright then the special general election will be held that day. If there is a Republican runoff on December 8 then the special general election will be on February 16. The eventual Republican nominee will face Democrat Henry White in the special general election. White is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary.
Polls open at 7:00 am on Tuesday and close at 7:00 pm that evening.