Local Democratic Primary election shows mixed results: Sheriff Joe Benison, Commissioners Garria Spencer (District 1) Allen Turner Jr. (District 4) win; others in runoff on June 21st

Sheriff Benison, Garria Spencer and Allen Turner Jr.

In yesterday’s May 24th primary election there were some local winners but many races with multiple candidates were pushed into second round runoffs, scheduled for June 21st.

In unofficial returns for Greene County, incumbent Democratic Sheriff Jonathan “Joe” Benison was re-nominated with 1,511 votes (57.47%) over challengers Jimmie Benison with 783 votes, Hank McWhorter with 175 and Beverly Spencer with 160. Benison like most local Greene County nominees has no Republican opposition in the November general election.

In the District 1, Greene County Commission race, Garria Spencer was nominated with 339 votes (67,4%) with 164 votes (32.6%) going to challenger Shelia R. Daniels. This contest was for the seat held by the late Lester “Bop” Brown.

In the District 4, Greene County Commission contest, incumbent Allen Turner Jr. with 338 votes (53.91%) defeated two challengers Christopher Armstead with 196 (31.26%) and Malcom Merriweather with 93 (14.83%) of the votes.

The District 5, Greene County Commission race will feature a runoff between incumbent Roshanda Summerville with 199 (41%) votes and Marvin Childs with 190 (39%), Sharlene French 69 votes and Anikia Coleman Jones with 28 trailed behind the leaders.

In the Greene County Board of Education District 1 contest, Dr. Carol P. Zippert led with 207 (40.8%) votes to an unofficial tie between challengers Robert Davis and Fentress “Duke” Means, each with 150 votes (29.6%). Zippert will be in a runoff with one of her opponents, who is officially certified in the final count, which will deal with any contested or provisional votes cast in this race.

A poll watcher who monitored the Absentee Box counting, indicated there were six votes disqualified for lack of proper signatures and witnesses on the affidavit and one vote rejected by the counting machine because of voting for two people in one race. This ballot was counted in the District 1, BOE race, for Robert Davis Jr., but is not reflected in the unofficial totals,
which are derived from the thumb drive taken from each machine.

In the Greene County Board of Education District 2 race, there will be a runoff between: Brandon Merriweather 177 (41.65%) votes and Tameka King 140 (32.94%). Incumbent Kashaya Cockrell was edged out with 108 (25.41%) of the votes.

In the race for State Representative, District 72, in Greene County, Curtis Travis received 1,445 (59%) votes to 1,004 (41%) for Ralph Howard. In the full district, which includes Hale County, and parts of Tuscaloosa and Bibb counties, Travis received 3,101 votes ( 52.7%) to 2,785 votes (47.3%) for Howard.

In statewide races on the Democratic side, there will be a runoff between Yolanda Flowers and State Senator Malika Sanders Fortier for Governor, with the winner to face current Governor Kay Ivy, who won the Republican primary with 65% of the vote against challengers Lynda Blanchard and Tim James. In Greene County, Malika Sanders Fortier led the ticket with 961 (43%) votes to 671 (30%) for Flowers, with others trailing behind.

In the statewide race for U. S. Senate, Democrat Will Boyd led in Greene County and the state by 65% to win without a runoff. Boyd will face the winner of a Republican state runoff between Katie Britt (45%) and Mo Brooks (29%) to fill the vacant seat left by the retirement of Senator Richard Shelby.

State Amendment for an $85 million bond issue for State Parks and historical places, won in Greene County by a vote of 2,167 (85%) yes to 378 (15%) no. It was also successful statewide by a margin of over 65% yes votes.

 More election results including for the county Democratic Executive Committee, to follow after the votes are officially certified next week.

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