Only 1 expected to qualify as Dem

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 2, 2011

Qualifying for the Democratic ticket will officially open Sat., Dec. 3, for the 2012 elections.

Local party chairman Billy Hughes said Thursday he’s had one candidate express an interest to run on the Democratic ticket for a commission seat.

“But until I get money in hand, that don’t mean anything,” Hughes said of the potential candidate’s intent. “With that said, we are looking for local candidates who want to make a difference.

“We want to give the people a choice to vote on,” he said. “If no one qualifies (on the Democratic ticket), we could have an election in March because there wouldn’t be anyone to run on the ticket.”

The presidential preference primary and statewide primary will be held on March 13; the runoff, if needed, April 24. Municipal elections are set for Aug. 28, and the general elections on Nov. 6.

Hughes said the party – both nationally and locally – took quite a hit after the last presidential election. Each local candidate who ran and was elected from the Democratic ticket has switched parties.

“After that, it’s been different,” he said. “The exact reason, in my opinion, is that it stems from national politics. I’m hoping it will turn around.

“I’m planning on going around and talking with (each local candidate) and ask them why they switched,” Hughes said. “I want to know what the problem was, and if it’s a local thing, work to get it fixed. If it’s national, well, that stuff tends to work itself out.”

On a national level, an election will be held for president and vice president, as well as the seat for 2nd Congressional district House of Representatives (which represents Covington County); and on a state level, the offices of 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 current circuit clerk, Roger Powell, will not seek re-election;

• Probate Judge;

• Commission Chairman and the four seats;

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

• Opp School Board Seats District 3 and 5, which are held by Cheryl Graves and Rothel Moody, respectively.

As early as Nov. 6, candidates intending to participate in the 2012 general election, but not in the primary election, began 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.

Hughes said he feels that a Democrat has a good chance at winning in the local elections.

“Really, it depends on what they’re running for, but they stand just as good of a chance as someone on the Republican ticket,” he said.

Democrats interested in running for office should contact Hughes at 334-388-4352 or 488-4478.