Wedgeworth wins Probate Judge race Summerville chosen District 5 Commissioner in Tuesday’s Runoff Election








Rolonda H. Wedgeworth won Tuesday’s Runoff Election by a vote of 1,291 (56.2%) to 1,006 (43.8%) for Jeremy Rancher for the Democratic nomination for Probate Judge of Greene County. Since there is no Republican opposition, Wedgeworth will be elected at the November 6, 2018 General Election.
Roshonda Summerville defeated Marvin Childs for the Democratic nomination for Greene County Commissioner District 5 by a vote of 248 (53.45%) to 216 (46.55%).
Turnout was down significantly in the runoff from the June First Primary election. Turnout in the Democratic party races was 2,308, down more than a thousand votes from June. Republican turnout was 115 votes. This highlights the dilemma of educating voters to vote in each and every election, which is critically important.
Wedgeworth, who serves as Chief Clerk in the Probate Judge’s office, won in all but three precincts. She thanked her supporters and said “I look forward to serving all citizens of Greene County in the Probate Judge’s office.”
Summerville, a political newcomer who works at the Greene County Physicians Clinic, said, “I learned a lot about my district and the people by campaigning door-to-door and I hope to be a good representative for people in District 5.”

Statewide Republicans completed their slate for the November 6 election with Will Ainsworth for Lieutenant Governor, Steve Marshall for Attorney General, Sarah Hicks for Place 1 on Supreme Court and Rick Pate for Agriculture Commissioner.
Attention turns now to the November 6, 2018 General Election, which is 100 days away. This will pit incumbent Republican Governor, Kay Ivey, against Walt Maddox, Tuscaloosa Mayor, the Democratic candidate, as well as other races for statewide and legislative offices. Candidates and politicalm organizations will be working on strategies to interest and excite voters to turnout at record numbers to participate in this upcoming election.

Statewide: Walt Maddox for Governor; Joe Siegelman for AG In Greene County: Sheriff and 4 incumbent commissioners re-elected; Runoff set for Probate Judge and District 5 Commissioner


Sheriff Jonathan Joe Benison (1)

Shown above L to R: Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Veronica Morton-Jones and Ronald Kent Smith

In yesterday’s Democratic primary elections, Sheriff Jonathan “Joe” Benison was re-elected to his third four-year term. Benison received 2013 votes (60%) to 681 for Jimmie Benison, 381 for Lorenzo French, and 282 for Beverly Spencer.
In Greene County, the Republican party did not nominate candidates for local offices, so the Democratic nomination is tantamount to election, although these candidates will be officially confirmed as elected after the November 6, General Election.
Veronica Morton-Jones was elected Circuit Clerk of Greene County by a vote of 1911 (60%) to 1290 for her opponent Debra D. Blackmon.
Ronald Kent Smith was re-elected Coroner over Finest Gandy, Jr. by a vote of 1998 to 1186.
In the race for Greene County Probate Judge, there will be a countywide Runoff Election on July 17, 2018, between the top two finishers, Jeremy Rancher with 1091 votes (32.76%) and Rolonda M. Wedgeworth with 813 votes (24.41%). Four other participants in the race: James Carter with 303, John Kennard with 306. Rashon Smith with 518 and Grace Belton Stanford with 299 votes were eliminated.

Four of the incumbent County Commissioners were re-elected. In District 1, Lester ‘Bop” Brown defeated Union Mayor James Gaines, Jr. by 415 to 229 votes. In District 2, Tennyson Smith did not draw any opponents and will be re-elected after the November General Election.
In District 3, Corey Cockrell was chosen over Elzora Fluker by a vote of 609 to 244. In District 4, Allen Turner, Jr. scored 491 votes to defeat John H. Vester with 178 votes.
In District 5, there will be a runoff on July 17 between Marvin Childs 203 votes and Rashonda Summerville with 135 votes. Three other challengers including incumbent Michael Williams with 101, Marvin K. Walton with 77 and Grace Atkins Lavender with 54 votes.
In the contest for State Democratic Executive Committee member for District 72 (Female), in Greene County Carrie B. McFadden had 433, Jerildine Melton 329 and Johnnie Mae Scott with 1052. Including results from Greene, Hale, Perry and Marengo counties, there will be a runoff between Carrie B. McFadden with 3378 and Johnnie Mae Scott 2676. Jerildine Melton finished with 2571, just five votes less than needed for second place.
In the contest for State Democratic Executive Committee for District 72 (Male), in Greene County, Arthur Crawford had 659, James F. May 219 and John Zippert 1222. For the full four county district, there will be a runoff between Arthur Crawford 4216 and James F. May, 2725. John Zippert finished third with 2286 votes.
In statewide races, Greene County set the trend for Walt Maddox and Joe Siegelman to win the Democratic nomination without a runoff. In Greene County, Maddox received 2779 (86.33%) of the votes. The other candidates: Sue Bell Cobb with 159, Christopher Countryman with 37, James C. Fields with 96, Doug ‘New Blue’ Smith 107 and Anthony White 41 votes, did not break 5% of the votes.
In the State Attorney General’s race, Joe Siegelman received 2076 votes (71.81%) to 815 votes (28.19) for Chris Christie in Greene County. For Secretary of State, Heather Milan 1359 defeated Lula Albert with 970 votes in Greene County and also won statewide.
In the Republican Primary in Greene County, there were only 249 votes cast or 6.83 of the total. In the Governor’s race, Kay Ivey led in Greene County with 184 votes (73.9%). She was followed by Tommy Battle with 30 votes, Scott Dawson with 26, Bill Hightower with 8 and Michael McAllister 1.

Tuesday June 5 primary elections feature many critical state and local contests

Next Tuesday, June 5. 2018 will be an important primary election day for state and local office for both the Democratic and Republican parties.
All State constitutional offices (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, Auditor, Agriculture Commissioner) the entire State Legislature, all Congressional seats, County Sheriffs, County Commissions, Coroners and many other positions are up for election.
The Democratic Party hopes to sustain the momentum and turnout of last December’s Special Election when Doug Jones was elected as the first Democrat to win statewide in twenty-five years.
In the Democratic primary for Governor, there are six candidates including Sue Bell Cobb, Christopher Countryman, James C. Fields Jr., Walt Maddox, Doug ‘New Blue’ Smith and Anthony White. Walt Maddox, the Mayor of Tuscaloosa, has been endorsed by ANSA, ADC, the Mayor of Birmingham and others.
On the Republican side, incumbent Governor Kay Ivey is running against several challengers including Tommy Battle, Mayor of Huntsville, Bill Hightower, Scott Dawson and Michael McAllister.
The Republicans also have a race for Lieutenant Governor including Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, Will Ainsworth and Rusty Glover. Only one person qualified in the Democratic race for Lieutenant Governor, Rev. Will Boyd of Florence, who will not be on the Democratic ballot in the primary, but will e listed in the November 6, 2018 General Election.

For State Attorney General, there are two Democratic candidates: Chris Christie and Joe Siegelman. Siegelman endorsed by ANSA and Christie endorsed by ADC. The Republicans have incumbent Steve Marshall shall pitted against Alice Martin, Troy King and Chess Bedsole.
In Greene County local races, there is strong interest in the Democratic Party primary. There are no candidates for county offices on the Republican ballot.
Person wishing to vote in the Republican Primary for statewide offices, including Public Service Commission Place 2, where local businessman, Chis ‘Chip’ Beeker is running for re-election against one challenger, Robin Litaker, will not be able to vote in local contests in the Democratic Party. You must choose the party primary you want to vote in and remain with that party throughout the first and second primaries.
In Greene County, in the Democratic Primary, two candidates are contesting the Circuit Clerk’s position: Debra D. Blackmon and Veronica Morton Jones. Jones is endorsed by ANSA.
In the race for Greene County Probate Judge, six candidates are running for the position vacated by Judy Spree. The six are: James Carter, John Kennard, Jeremy Rancher, Rashon Smith, Grace Belton Stanford and Rolonda Wedgeworth. ANSA endorsed Jeremy Rancher,
For Greene County Sheriff, three are challenging incumbent Sheriff Jonathan ‘Joe’ Benison, including Jimmie L. Benison, Lorenzo French and Beverly Spencer; Lorenzo French was endorsed by ANSA.
For Greene County Coroner, incumbent Ronald Kent Smith is opposed by Finest Gandy Jr. Smith was endorsed by ANSA.
For State Democratic Executive Committee, for District 72, which includes parts of Greene, Hale and Perry counties, Arthur Crawford, James F. May and John Zippert are running. John Zippert was endorsed by ANSA. For the female position on the State Democratic Executive Committee, three women are running: Carrie B. McFadden, Jerildine Melton and Johnnie Mae Scott. ANSA made no endorsement in this race.
For Greene County Commission District No. 1: Lester ‘Bop” Brown, the incumbent is running against James Gaines Jr. ANSA endorsed Lester Brown.
In District No. 2 for County Commissioner, incumbent Tennyson Smith was not opposed in the primary and will not have opposition in the General Election.
In District No. 3 for Commissioner, incumbent Corey Cockrell is challenged by Elzora C. Fluker. Fluker was endorsed by ANSA.
In District No. 4 for Commissioner, incumbent Allen Turner Jr. is opposed by John H. Vester. Turner was endorsed by ANSA.
In District No. 5 for Commissioner, incumbent Michael Williams is challenged by Marvin Childs, Grace Atkins Lavender, Rashonda Summerville and Marvin K. Walton. Summerville was endorsed by ANSA.


ANSA endorses local candidates in the Democratic primary set for June 5, 2018

The Greene County Chapter of the Alabama New South Alliance (ANSA) met over the past weekend to screen and endorse candidates for the primary election to be held on June 5, 2018.
Candidates for local offices made short presentations to the ANSA members and then answered questions from a screening committee and the general membership.
For Probate Judge, ANSA endorsed Jeremy Rancher in a close contest with Rev. James Carter. Rev. John Kennard and Rashon Smith also appeared to be screened, however neither Rolanda M. Wedgeworth nor Grace Belton Stanford, who were invited, appeared before the group.
For Circuit Clerk, ANSA endorsed Veronica Morton Jones over Debra Blackmon.
For Sheriff, ANSA heard from Lorenzo French and Beverly Spencer, two of the four candidates and endorses Lorenzo French. Incumbent Sheriff Jonathan Benison and Jimmie L. Benison declined the invitation to appear before the group.
For Coroner, ANSA chose to endorse Ronald K. Smith, incumbent Coroner, for the position over Finest Gandy Jr., his opponent.
ANSA heard from most of the candidates for the Greene County Commission and endorsed the following:

• Lester Brown –
District 1
• Tennyson Smith –
District 2
• Elzora Fluker –
District 3
• Allen Turner Jr. –
District 4
•Rashonda Summerville –
District 5

The ANSA members plan to work between now and the election to support this slate of local candidates. On April 21, ANSA will hold its statewide convention in Montgomery to screen and endorse candidates for statewide and multi-county districts to complete its slate of candidates for the June 5, 2018 primary election.

The Greene County Democratic Executive Committee announces candidates

The Greene County Democratic Executive Committee announced the list of candidates that have qualified to run in the June 5, 2018 primary for county and state positions. The qualifying period ended on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 5:00 PM.
The following persons qualified for county offices, which will be on the ballot for the 2018 June Primary and November General Elections:

Probate Judge:  John Kennard, Grace Belton-Stanford, Rashon Smith, Jeremy Rancher, Rolanda M. Wedgeworth and James Carter
Greene County Sheriff: Jonathan “Joe” Benison, Jimmie Benison, Lorenzo French and Beverly Spencer.
Coroner: Ronald “Kent” Smith and Finest Gandy, Jr. .
Circuit Clerk: Veronica Morton-Jones and Debra Blackmon

Greene County Commission, all seats to be involved:

District 1: Lester “Bop” Brown and James Gaines, Jr.

District 2: Tennyson Smith, no opposition.

District 3: Corey Cockrell and Elzora C. Fluker.

District 4: Allen Turner, Jr. and John Vester.

District 5: Michael Williams, Marvin Childs, Grace Atkins Lavender, Roshanda  Summerville and Marvin K. Walton.

Democratic Executive Committee:
Barbara Ann Collin -District 1, Lester Cotton -District 3, Teresa M. Atkins  -District 3, Spiver W. Gordon- District 3, Mary Morrow Carter -District 3, Frank “Pinto ‘ Smith -District 3, Hattie Barnett Edwards- District 3, Amy Billups Wiggins -District 2 and Linda R. Spencer -District 1

State Democratic Executive Committee: Bettye Maye – SDEC 71, Nick Underwood SDEC 71
Johnnie Mae Scott – SDEC 72, Arthur Crawford, Sr. – SDEC 72, John Zippert – SDEC 72
All candidates may announce their candidacy, with a photo, at no cost in the Greene County Democrat. Please bring your announcement to the newspaper office. Special rates are also available for political advertisements after the free announcement.