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!

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.


Alabama New South Alliance (ANSA) endorses statewide candidates: Walt Maddox for Governor and Joe Siegelman for Attorney General


Shown above: Walt Maddox, Joe Siegelman  and ANSC members engage in fellowship program, sharing talents of song, poetry, stories and jokes, Friday evening, prior to convention. ANSC members gathered for the organization’s Spring Membership Convention, held Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Maggie Street Dream Center in Montgomery, AL.

Hundreds of members from Alabama New South Alliance (ANSA), the political organization involving many members of the Alabama New South Coalition, gathered on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Maggie Street Dream Center in Montgomery, Alabama, for the Spring Endorsement Convention. After hearing from statewide, congressional, legislative, and multi-county candidates, ANSA endorsed candidates for the June 5, 2018 Primary Election.

For the Democratic Primary Election for Governor, ANSA delegates heard from Sue Bell Cobb, James Fields and Walt Maddox. ANSA endorsed Walt Maddox for Governor. Maddox promised to expand Medicaid for working poor people on his first day in office.
For the Democratic Primary Election for Attorney General, ANSA delegates heard from Chris Christie and Joe Siegelman. ANSA endorsed Joe Siegelman for Attorney General.
The full list of candidates endorsed on Saturday by the Alabama New South Alliance are as follows:

Walt Maddox
for Governor

Joe Siegelman
for Attorney General

Bob Vance for
Alabama Supreme Court
Chief Justice

Will Sellers for
Alabama Supreme Court,
Associate Justice Place 3

Donna Wesson Smalley for Alabama Supreme Court, Associate Justice Place 4

U.S. Congress, District 1
– Robert Kennedy, Jr.

U.S. Congress, District 2
– Tabitha Isner and
–Audri Scott Williams
Dual Endorsement

U.S. Congress, District 3
– Endorsement Pending

U.S. Congress, District 4
– Lee Auman

Other Races:

State Senate District 23 – Malika Sanders-Fortier

State House District 69 – Rep. Kevin Lawrence

State Board of
Education District 8
– Jessica Fortune Barker

State Democratic
Executive Committee, 70
– Eva Prewitt

State Democratic
Executive Committee, 71
– John Zippert

The 3rd Congressional District did not complete its endorsement and will be meeting within the next 10 days to complete its work.
Under ANSA bylaws, all candidates whose seats are completely within one county are endorsed by local chapters of ANSA and not at the Statewide Convention. Those candidates made remarks to the full convention on Saturday, however, and will meet with the local chapters in next couple of weeks for the formal endorsement process.

For more information contact: Shelley Fearson at or Gus Townes at

Vote Or Die Campaign moving across state : ANSC Convention discusses youth involvement in voting and creating excitement in the build-up to Dec. 12 election


Youth involvement panel at ANSC Convention includes William Scott, Moderator and panelists (l to R) Jasmine Walker, Jamia Jackson, Terri Wiggins and Azali Fortier

The Alabama New South Coalition met for its Fall Convention at the Montgomery Windcreek Casino on Saturday, November 2, 2017. The convention was well attended with over 200 delegates from twenty active chapters around the state.
The ANSC Convention was dedicated to creating interest and excitement in the December 12, Special Election for the U. S. Senate seat, vacated by Jeff Sessions. Democrat Doug Jones is running against Republican Roy Moore in a contest with state and national implications that is five weeks away.

The ANSC Convention featured a panel on youth involvement in politics and voting, a play about counteracting voter apathy, a report from county chapters on activities in the ‘Vote Or Die Campaign’ and luncheon speeches from two 2018 gubernatorial hopefuls – Sue Bell Cobb and Walt Maddox- and introduction of other candidates for next year.
The youth panel spoke about ways to motivate voters 18 to 40 to more actively participate in elections by utilizing social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach out to millennials on issues of concern to them. William Scott, panel moderator said he was working as the webmaster for the Vote Or Die Campaign Facebook account and for members and chapters to mail in reports and photos of activities that they want posted to this Facebook account.
Several ANSC chapters gave short reports on their work in the ‘Vote Or Die Campaign’ across the state.
• Sam Walker from Dallas County reported that they meet once a week on Thursdays and hold rallies holding ‘Vote Or Die’ signs as human billboards at the bridge in Selma and other sites around the city. We ask motorists to honk their horns in support of the campaign.
• Billy Billingsley of Gadsden is using voter lists from several organizations to do phone banking and door to door canvassing.
• Rebecca Marion of Tallapoosa County said her group was busy putting out Vote Or Die signs and canvassing for absentee voters.
• John Harris of Lee County said his chapter was meeting with ministers to help get out the vote. The chapter is also going into the jail, visiting barbershops, and going door-to-door for registration and absentee ballots.
• Esther Brown said her Project Hope death row prisoners were contacting family and friends to urge them to register and vote in this upcoming Special Election.
• Herman Mixon and Beulah Toney of Madison County reported on efforts to register people at community centers and A & M University. They are using social media to reach and motivate high school and college youth.
• Matilda Hamilton of Tallapoosa County had registered 153 new voters through the school system and was participating in rallies together with Lee County.
• Gus Townes reported that Montgomery County was working on voter registration; also focusing on ex-felons and working with churches to reach and register 1,000 new voters before the November 27, 2017 closing date before the Special Election.
• Rev. Hugh Morris from Talladega County said ANSC, ADC, NAACP, fraternities and sororities were working together to canvas, register and turn out voters. Michael Scales, ANSC Talladega County Chapter President said they were working with Talladega College, pastors and others on the campaign.
• Everett Wess of Jefferson County said the ANSC Chapter was partnering with other groups, had participated in the tailgating leading up to the Magic City Classic football game and other community gatherings to register voters and spread the ‘Vote Or Die Campaign’.
• Carol P. Zippert reported for Greene County that 50 high school students were registered and assisted with proper photo ID’s. A large community meeting was held to explore community issues like the future of the hospital and healthcare, recreational programs for youth and voting. U. S. Senate Candidate Doug Jones listened to the discussion and made remarks at the end. Greene County is now concentrating on absentee ballots and walk-in early voters for the next four weeks.
• A Macon County representative spoke on involving Tuskegee University Students in doing voter registration and canvassing leading up to the special election.
• Senator Hank Sanders reported that he has cut radio and TV ads promoting the importance of voting that are available to be sent to stations around the state. He said he participated in human billboards in Selma to promote the “Vote Or Die Campaign’.
Faya Rose Toure and a group from Selma and other counties did a role-play skit about voter apathy and reasons people give for not voting and how to counteract those concerns. The play was well received by ANSC members.
At the closing luncheon, ANSC members heard from two Democratic candidates who are planning to run in the June 2018 primary. Sue Bell Cobb, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said she proposes an Alabama lottery to generate funds for childcare, K-12 public education and closing the gap between Pell Grants and the cost of college tuition.
Walt Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa said he was running for Governor, “to build a brighter future for Alabama and make Alabama a better state for everyone.” He highlighted his record of rebuilding Tuscaloosa after the April 2011 tornadoes and making it the ninth fastest growing city in America.
Rev. Will Boyd of Florence announced that he was planning to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2018. Audri Scott Williams indicated that she was running for U. S. House of Representatives for District 2 against incumbent Martha Roby. Everett Wess stated he was running for Jefferson County Probate Judge – Place 1.