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House District 42 voters go to the polls today

Brandon Moseley

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The special general election for Alabama House District 42 in Chilton and Autauga Counties is today. Polls will open today at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

Republican Autauga County Commissioner Van Smith faces Democrat Kenneth Allison Sr.

The Alabama House District 42 seat became open following the death of State Rep. Jimmy Martin, R-Clanton, from cancer.

Smith defeated Chilton County commissioner Jimmie Hardee, Chilton County Commissioner Allen Caton, and Shannon Welch in the special Republican primary in August.

Smith was born in Chilton County. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriscience from Auburn University and a master’s degree in agriscience from Alabama A&M University as well as a teaching certificate in administrative education from the University of Montevallo.

Smith is a retired educator. He worked 13 years as a vocational education teacher, eight years as assistant principal, and 16 years as principal of Billingsley School. Since retirement in 2013, he became a full-time farmer raising cattle, hay and timber.

Smith has served as vice chairman of the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees and has been on the board of trustees of PowerSouth and the Alabama Rural Electric Association. He is past Autauga County Cattlemen’s Association president and the current President of the Autauga County Farmers Federation president.

Smith and his wife, Fran, have four adult children and 11 grandchildren. They are members of Indian Grave Baptist Church where he serves as chairman of the deacons.

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Smith has the support of ALFA, BCA, and the Alabama Forestry Association.

Kenneth Allison Sr. is age 56 and is originally from Maplesville. He currently lives in Jemison.

House District 42 has long been controlled by Chilton County; but Autauga County has experienced much higher growth bringing the number of HD42 voters in Autauga to roughly equivalent of HD42 voters in Chilton County.

HD42 has been in Republican hands since 2010.

The seat is seen as a difficult pickup for Democrats; but top Democratic strategist and Voice of Alabama contributor Beth Clayton us urging Democrats to get out and support Allison’s candidacy.

“It’s exciting to see a Democrat running in this district, since we haven’t attempted to win this seat back since the late Rep. Jimmy Martin held it as a Democrat,” Clayton told the Alabama Political Reporter. “Hopefully with the renewed energy in our Party, we’ll continue to field candidates and win races where Democrats haven’t been competitive for the past decade.”

Libertarian Doug Ward turned in enough petition signatures to get ballot access; but not enough were registered voters in HD42; thus his application for ballot access was ultimately rejected by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.

Voters must bring a valid photo ID with them when they go to the polls to vote in any Alabama election.

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Elections

Secretary of State to evaluate all county registrars

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This week, Secretary of State John H. Merrill notified all 204 Registrars in the State of Alabama that their performances would be evaluated following the November 3, 2020 General Election.

“Every agent of the state should be held accountable for their actions – especially those who are tasked with protecting the opportunity for Alabamians to exercise their constitutional right to vote. These evaluations will ensure that Registrars are completing their duties in serving the people of their respective county,” stated Secretary Merrill.

Beginning December 1, 2020, the Office of the Secretary of State will be traveling to all 67 counties to meet with and confirm whether or not each registrar is completing his or her assigned duties.

Section 17-4-35 of the Code of Alabama requires the Supervisor of Voter Registration to evaluate Registrars on the performance of their lawful functions. Section 17-3-2 requires the Secretary of State to prescribe guidelines to assist the State Board of Appointment to determine the qualifications of the members of the Boards of Registrars.

The qualifications are as follows:

  • Capable of following Alabama’s Ethics Laws
  • Self-motivated, reliable, responsible, accountable
  • Resident of county
  • Qualified elector of county (registered to vote)
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Computer skills (Microsoft Office competency including Word, Excel, Outlook)
  • Proficient in utilizing an email account
  • Proficient in typing (word and data processing)
  • Ability to utilize a computer, scanner, printer, label-maker, and camera
  • Map reading skills (understanding of local, county, and state district lines, precincts, and polling places)
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills, including customer service skills to assist citizens, voters, election officials, and other offices in-person, by email, and via telephone
  • Understanding and willingness to express office etiquette
  • Ability to work Monday through Friday and some weekends during intervals of the year in preparation of local, county, and state elections
  • Reliable and responsible for working assigned days as agreed upon by the Board of Registrars
  • Must be willing to consider the registrar position as the primary occupation, and must be available for working the normal business hours of the office
  • Must have reliable transportation to and from the office location
  • Understanding of confidentiality and security of private information
  • Willing to retain and protect private information not available to the public
  • Ability to travel to mandatory training sessions one or more times a year throughout the state
  • Required to be a team player and work alongside two other board members in close proximity in the office setting
  • Understanding of Title 17 of the Code of Alabama, the Alabama Administrative Code, and Alabama Attorney General Opinions that apply to the position
  • Willingness to study and learn daily functions of the office using the Alabama Boards of Registrars Handbook and other guidance from the Alabama Secretary of State
  • Proficient in managing, filing, and storing extremely important and permanent documents received in the office, including voter registration applications and voter file maintenance records
  • Capable of learning to utilize multiple systems of software related to voter registration and the Alabama free Photo Voter ID
  • Must be unbiased and completely non-partisan during office hours and during any point in which representing the office
  • Ability to form positive working relationships with local, county, and state election officials and be cooperative and professional when working with other offices

Evaluations will be made public, following completion.

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Elections

Alabama House District 49 major party candidate qualifying is closed

Brandon Moseley

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Tuesday, the Alabama Republican Party closed its candidate qualifying period for the Alabama House of Representatives District 49 special primary election.

The following individuals have qualified to run as Republicans for the District 49 seat: Russell Bedsole, James Dean, Chuck Martin, Jackson McNeely, Mimi Penhale, and Donna Strong.

The Alabama Political Reporter talked Wednesday to the Alabama Democratic Party and they have also closed qualifying. Cheryl Patton has qualified to run as a Democrat for the seat.

The vacancy in House District 49 was created when State Representative April Weaver (R-Briarfield) announced her resignation to accept an appointment with the Trump administration as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

House District 49 consists of portions of Bibb, Shelby and Chilton Counties. The winner will serve the remainder of April Weaver’s term which ends in late 2022.

The special Republican primary election for House District 49 will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Since only Patton qualified as a Democrat there will be no need for a Democratic Party primary. If a Republican runoff election is needed, it will be held on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. The winner of the Republican nomination will face Ms. Patton in the special general election to be held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, two weeks after the general election on November 3.

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Elections

Coastal 150 endorses Jerry Carl for Congress

Brandon Moseley

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Wednesday, Coastal 150 announces their endorsement of Republican Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl for Alabama’s First Congressional District.

Wiley Blankenship is the Executive Director of Coastal 150.

“Our members believe that Jerry Carl is the right person to serve our region in Congress.” Blankenship said. “He understands our unique needs and supports our shared vision for coastal Alabama. We expect that Mr. Carl will represent Coastal Alabama well and look forward to working with him in Washington. “The experience, character and leadership that he brings to the office is what we believe is necessary to solve the challenges facing our region and our nation. “

“In case you missed it, our campaign has picked up some huge endorsements recently,” Carl said. “t’s an honor to be endorsed by these well-respected conservative leaders who know that I will fight for south Alabama in Congress.”

Carl has also been endorsed by the Alabama Farmers Federation, former State Representative Chris Pringle, and Wes Lambert.

Jerry Carl was born in Mobile, started his first company at the age of 25 and grew that small business into numerous other companies throughout the region. In all, Jerry has started over ten different companies ranging from real estate to healthcare and timber, to even the manufacturing of church furniture. Carl and his wife Tina have been married for over 37 years. They have children and grandchildren.

When Jerry was frustrated with the direction of Mobile’s local government, he ran for County Commission where he still serves today. On the county commission he has been a vocal fiscal hawk and advocate for pro-growth, job-creating policies, and is laser‑focused on creating economic opportunities so good-paying jobs can be created.

Carl is an avid hunter, a lifelong supporter of Second Amendment rights, and believes all human life should be protected from the moment of conception.

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Carl is promising to build the wall along our southern border, “stop the liberals from imposing a 90% tax rate on hard-working Alabamians,” and “stand with Trump to do what’s right and fight for us.”

Coastal 150 is a comprehensive group of community leaders who work from a grassroots level to the highest levels of government to further the mission of Coastal Alabama Partnership to make coastal Alabama the place to live, work and play along the Gulf Coast. Coastal 150 gives all regional leaders an opportunity to be involved in the development of our coastal region’s bright future.

Carl faces former State Senator Bill Hightower in the July Republican primary runoff. The eventual Republican nominee will face the winner of the Democratic primary runoff. between James Averhart and Kiani Gardner, in the November general election.

First Congressional District incumbent Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) is not seeking re-election.

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Elections

Alabama Republicans will hold summer meeting August 1

Brandon Moseley

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The Alabama Republican Party announced Tuesday that the state executive committee will meet on Saturday, August 1.

The Alabama Republican Party Summer Meeting is scheduled to be at the Trussville Civic Center, 5381 Trussville Clay Road, Trussville, AL 35173.

“We will be meeting in person and will be following all social distancing guidelines as applicable at the meeting time,” wrote Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan. “As the guidelines change, the ALGOP will plan accordingly for a safe, in person business meeting. The civic center can accommodate the social distancing guidelines with some alternations. However, as of today, special event buildings are closed. We will look for a backup place in case we need one. For now, our meeting is booked at the Trussville Civic Center.”

“Because of the guidelines that require distancing and not knowing what the future brings, the luncheon fundraiser we had scheduled prior to our meeting will be postponed,” Lathan explained. “Seating for 8-10 people at a table is not conducive for now- hopefully this will change sooner than later. It takes us months to prepare for 500 at our dinners, luncheons and meetings. The virus situation has hijacked many of our choices. Stay tuned for information about an exciting event later in the fall.”

Lathan said that, “The guidelines are fluid and our plan will need to adjust accordingly.”

“Please be assured that our team will be focused on having a safe and efficient Summer Meeting on August 1.”

Re-electing Donald Trump and defeating Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones are the focuses of the Alabama Republican Party. Tommy Tuberville and Jeff Sessions are in the July 14 Republican Primary runoff seeking that nomination.

The Alabama Republican Party holds six of the state’s seven congressional seats. They are not challenging incumbent Terri Sewell, D-Selma.

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Republican incumbents Mo Brooks of Huntsville and Gary Palmer of Hoover do not have Democratic challengers.

Republicans are hoping to re-elect incumbent Congressmen Robert Aderholt and Mike Rogers who face Democratic challengers. The 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts are both vacant.

In CD1 Bill Hightower faces Jerry Carl in the Republican Party primary runoff. In CD2 Barry Moore and Jeff Coleman are seeking the GOP nomination. Both eventual nominees will face Democratic opponents in the fall.

The Alabama Republican Party holds every statewide office. The highest-profile state office on the November ballot is Public Service Commission President where the Alabama Republican Party hopes to re-elect incumbent Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.

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