Low turnout decisive in runoff results

Roshonda Summerville, Robert Davis and Brandon Merriweather

In yesterday’s runoff election, only 1,567 people in Greene County voted, as compared to 2,955 in the May 24 First Primary, which was almost a 50% decline. In the runoff there were 1,348 Democrats and 219 Republican voters in the county.

In the race for County Commission, District 5, incumbent Roshonda Summerville received 201 votes (51.14%) to Marvin Childs with 192 votes (48.85%). Summerville will serve a second four-year term, since she is unopposed in the November General Election.

In the Greene County Board of Education races, in District 1, Robert Davis won with 208 (62%) votes to 127 (38%) for Dr. Carol P. Zippert, the incumbent; in District 2, Brandon Merriweather garnered 143 votes (56%) to defeat Tameka King with 113 (44%) votes. The Greene County Board of Education will have two new members, for six-year terms, after the November elections.

Commenting on his victory, Robert Davis said, “ I want to thank the voters of District 1 for placing their confidence in me. I am ready to go to work.”

In Greene County, Malika Sanders Fortier had 751 votes (59%) to 530 for Yolanda Flowers with 530 (41%) for the Democratic nomination for Governor; but statewide, Flowers won with 32,416 (55%) to 26,363 (45%) for Fortier. Flowers, who like Fortier is African-American, will challenge Kay
Ivey for the Governor’s position. This is the first time an African-American was nominated by a major party in Alabama for Governor.

Katie Britt, Republican candidate for U. S. Senate won in Greene County with 147 votes (67%) to Mo Brooks with 72 votes (33%), Britt also won the Republican nomination statewide by 252,877 (63%) to 148,420 (37%) for Mo Brooks. Britt is being challenged by Democratic nominee Will
Boyd, an African-American preacher and business owner in the November election.

In the Republican races statewide, Wes Allen was nominated over Jim Zeigler, in the Secretary of State race and will face Democratic opposition in November. Andrew Sorrell was nominated over Stan Cooke for State Auditor band has no opposition in November. In the Alabama Public Service Commission races, Jeremy Oden was nominated for Place 1 over Brent Woodall; and for Place 2, Greene County resident, Chip Beeker was nominated statewide over Robert McCollum.

In the District 23, State Senate race, Hank Sanders of Selma lost his bid to be elected to his old seat in the Alabama State Senate representing Selma-Dallas County and surrounding areas. Robert L. Stewart, a former employee of Congresswoman Terri Sewell, won with 8,245 (55.6%) to 6,585 (44.4%) for Hank Sanders.

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.

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.

Primary Runoff Election set for next Tuesday July 17

Jeremy Rancher and Roshanda Summerville

Next Tuesday, July 17, 2018, the Democratic and Republican parties in Alabama are holding a Primary Runoff Election to decide political contests where one candidate did not get a 50% majority in the First Primary, held on June 5, 2018.
In Greene County, in the Democratic Party, we have two important political races to be decided in the runoff.
For Greene County Probate Judge, the race is between Jeremy Rancher and Rolonda Wedgeworth. In the first primary, Rancher, Chief Deputy with the Sheriff’s Department, led with 1091 votes (32.76%) to Wedgeworth’s 813 votes (24.41%). Wedgeworth currently is on leave from her position as Chief Clerk in the Probate Judge’s office. Four other candidates split the remaining votes.
For Greene County Commissioner District 5, there will be a runoff between Marvin Childs, a former commissioner who polled 203 votes to Roshanda Summerville, a political newcomer, who works at the Greene County Physicians Clinic, who polled 135 votes. Three other candidates, including incumbent commissioner, Michael Williams split the remaining votes.

In the first primary, four incumbent commissioners: Lester ‘Bop’ Brown, District 1; Tennyson Smith, District 2; Corey Cockrell, District 3 and Allen Turner Jr., District 4 were returned for another term. The Greene County Commission will face important decisions on the future direction of the county including road and bridge repair, recreation for young people, assisting the Greene County Health System to maintain hospital services in the county and many other issues facing the lives of Greene County residents.
Sheriff Joe Benison was re-nominated in the first primary. Veronica Morton Jones was nominated as Circuit Clerk and Ronald Kent Smith was re-nominated as County Coroner. All of these candidates will face the General Election on November 6, 2018 but local Democratic candidates are unopposed and will be elected pending any write-in campaigns.
On July 17, Republican voters will decide several statewide nominations for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner and several Supreme Court Justice positions.
All Democratic statewide candidates were decided in the first primary: Walt Maddox will be running for Governor, Will Boyd for Lieutenant Governor, Joe Siegelman for Attorney General, and many others will be on the November 6, 2018 General Election ballot.
On July 18, 2018, the general Election campaigns will begin in earnest with 110 days left until the November 6 General Election. People who have not registered will have another chance to register or change their voting address for the General Election.
Please remember to vote in the July 17 Runoff Election. Too many died and suffered to win the right to vote for all!

Childs seeks District 5 Commission seat




To the Citizens of District #5 and Greene County: It is after much thoughtful contemplation and prayer that I, Marvin Childs, have made the decision to seek the office of Greene County Commissioner of District #5. I believe the citizens of my district, district #5, deserve better than what we have received over the past few years. My decision to run for this position is based on a desire to work on behalf of the residents of District #5 and Greene County. This includes keeping District #5 residents informed of what is happening in the county and to be there for you when there are things that the county can do to help you.
As your commissioner, I will work alongside other Commissioners to move Greene County forward by working hard on issues our County encounters. Additionally, I will work with all other county departments so together we can all better Serve the People of Greene County. It is my belief that to serve, one must be a servant and that is what I will humbly be for you.
Thank you in advance for your support, your vote, and most of all your prayers in the upcoming June 5th, 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.