District keeps ‘The Rock’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Hank Sanders held on to his seat in the state Senate Tuesday by defeating Libertarian candidate Richard Motes and earning his sixth senate term.

Sanders did well in Dallas County, getting 61 percent of the vote. In Marengo County he won the vote 1,322 to 453 votes for Motes.

With 83 of 174 precincts reporting, Sanders led Motes 16,518 votes to 8,009. In Wilcox County, Sanders won by a wide margin, 3,163 to 808.

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Sanders, 60, has served as District 23’s senator for the past 19 years. Sanders said education and economic development remain keys for the Black Belt region that he serves.

District 23 spans across Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Lowndes, Marengo, Monroe and Wilcox counties.

Sanders said that education is also a key issue for this area and the state. Sanders chairs the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee.

Motes had a strong showing in Dallas County for a third-party candidate. He gathered 5,794 votes in Dallas County.

Motes said he could have made a better showing if he would have been better funded.

Motes said he received $1,200 in campaign contributions. He said he spent $10,000 on his campaign, financing the rest himself.

Motes said he was glad he still ran the race. He said if he were elected he would try to end what he called &uot;pork projects&uot; being created from the Education Trust Fund.

Sanders said he did not meet Motes on the campaign trail during the race. He added that he thinks education can be helped outside of school and in school.

Sanders said he did not take Motes’ challenge lightly.