Lots of local races in 2012

Published 12:04 am Thursday, October 13, 2011

It’s only October, but the 2012 election cycle is gearing up.

Thus far, four local candidates have formally announced their intention to seek office in next year’s election – Ben Bowden for probate judge; Amy Jones for circuit clerk; Kylan Lewis for commission chairman, and H.D. Edgar for a third term as Opp mayor.

W-hile it may seem early for candidates to announce their intent to run, local Republican Chairman William Blocker said it’s not.

“The first day to officially qualify for statewide or county elections is Nov. 14,” Blocker said. “So if we look at the days on the calendar and the people who have announced, it tells us two things. One, if those people – who have not officially qualified with the party yet – run on the Republican ticket, the race will be decided in the March primary if there is no Democratic opposition.”

The primary is set for March 13, 2012, with the runoff on April 24. The general election will be held on Nov. 6.

“So what that means is that the race could really be in March, not November,” he said. “And if you look at a calendar, there’s not a lot of time between now and March.”

The last day to qualify for an office is Jan. 13, he said.

On a national level, an election will be held for president and vice president, and on a state level, the offices of 2nd Congressional district House of Representatives, chief justice, supreme court justices, Court of Civil Appeals judge and places 1-3, Court of Criminal Appeals judge and places 1-3 and Public Service Commission president are up for election.

On a local level, candidates will vie for a multitude of offices, including:

• Circuit Judge Place 2, a spot currently held by Judge A. “Lex” Short;

• Circuit Clerk. The incumbent, Roger Powell, will not seek re-election;

• Probate Judge.

He has announced he will seek election;

• Commission Chairman and the four seats;

• County School Board Seats 1 and 2, which are held by John Clark and Jimmy Rodgers, respectively; and

As early as Nov. 6, candidates intending to participate in the 2012 general election, but not in the primary election, may begin soliciting and accepting contributions.

Municipal elections will be held on Aug. 28 for mayors and city council members.

In Andalusia, residents will also elect city school board seats for Districts 2 and 4, which are currently held by Dr. Bill King and Amy Dugger.

The same holds true for Opp, where the school board seats for District 3 and 5, which are held by Cheryl Graves and Rothel Moody, respectively, will be on the ballot as well.