Three candidates for the Jefferson County Commission District 5 special election — Michael Bolin, David Silverstein, and Jeff Wise — qualified by the June 27 filing deadline, 21 days before the July 18 election.
Bolin was an associate justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from 2005 to the end of his term in January 2023, when he left the office after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. He ran as a Republican in his initial and two reelection campaigns. Bolin was a probate judge for Jefferson County from 1988-2000. In those 12 years, he served as president, secretary, and treasurer of the Alabama Probate Judges Association.
David Silverstein is a real estate developer from Birmingham. He worked as a principal at property management company Bayer Properties beginning in 1994 and retains a role there, but since 2019, he founded and works as president of The FiveStone Group, a commercial real estate firm. He was involved in development of The Summit in Birmingham, The Pizitz, and the Crescent office building in Birmingham. He attended Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and was a partner at Berkowitz, Lefkovits, Isom, and Kushner before his 1994 election.
Silverstein has framed his run as nonpartisan, and the election is technically nonpartisan. He has contributed to the campaigns of former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Birmingham and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham. He supports medicaid expansion, as penned in an opinion column for AL.com.
“I would like for the story of Alabama to be a positive one of ensuring that all of our neighbors have access to affordable and quality health care. One where we save money, save lives and make our state one of the best places to live, work and raise a family,” Silverstein wrote. “I encourage Alabamians to dive into the facts and stop listening to political rhetoric. Informed voters are trusting voters.”
Wise is the least known candidate. He is also a real estate developer, working several co-owned companies since 1994. His projects include Letson Farms in McCalla, AL, and several projects along I-459 including banks, clinics, gas stations, and restaurants. The Hoover Sun reported Wise saying he is a Republican and chose to run for his family.
Campaign finance records put Bolin in the lead, having raised $30,352, which is $9,573 more than Silverstein; however, Bolin has spent over $18,000 of his funds while Silverstein has only spent $3,086. Wise is not included in the records.
The special election will replace the district 5 seat vacated by Steve Ammons on May 31. Ammons stepped down to become CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA). Ammons was chair of the Economic Development Committee and the Information Technology Committee. He played an important role in bringing a J.M. Smucker Company manufacturing plant to Birmingham with a $1.2 billion capital investment.
“I am excited to expand my service to the seven-county Greater Birmingham Region with the BBA,” Ammons said. “Birmingham has more opportunities in front of us than ever before. I look forward to working closely with the team, our investors and our partners in the community to advance economic growth and regional cooperation together.”