Primary candidates ready to run

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 2, 2004

The political season is in full swing with the June 1 primary just a month away. Candidates are lining up to shake hands, stump for votes and explain why they are the best person for the job.

Only 30 days remain until election day. It’s time to start running.

Republicans are in short supply this primary season, which is no surprise to Dallas County voters. The field is dominated by Democrats and the race for Dallas County District Attorney is no exception.

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The district attorney’s race promises to be one of the most heated. Attorney Michael Jackson is squaring off with incumbent Ed Greene for the six-year office.

Greene has worked with the District Attorney’s Office for about 25 years. He served as chief assistant district attorney from 1981 to 1998, when he was appointed district attorney. He ran for office in 1998 and won.

According to Greene, his office’s finances have been rescued from the brink since he took office.

He’s also partnered his office with the Alabama ICE program, which focuses on prosecuting gun crimes.

Jackson has served as a judge and an assistant district attorney. He’s currently a practicing criminal defense attorney. He maintains his bar license in Alabama and Florida.

According to Jackson, crime is a disease that requires innovative techniques in order to solve. If elected, Jackson said he would have Dallas County Jail prisoners improve the community instead of sit in prison.

Another race voters should keep watch on is the Dallas County District Judgeship.

Three Democrats are in the running – Nathaniel Walker, Bob Armstrong and Jimmy Nunn.

Walker, the incumbent, has served as district judge since 1986. He said he based his campaign on his record and performance as a judge for the past 17 years.

According to Walker, Selma has a crime problem, which won’t be fixed until the community becomes involved. He pointed to grass-roots movements in New York and Boston, which significantly lowered the murder rate, as examples.

Armstrong is an attorney associated with Reeves & Stewart, a local law firm. He said that if elected, he would treat people fairly and listen to everyone with respect and courtesy.

Armstrong’s plan for Dallas County includes a family resource center, which would be a “one-stop shop” for programs such as CHASM, the youth development center, Anybody Can Recover and tutoring classes.

Nunn is the city attorney for the City of Selma. He’s previously worked with Legal Services Corporation and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

Nunn’s campaign theme is “Strengthening the family and community through law and justice.”

If elected, Nunn will focus on child support, domestic issues, fairness, youth and cooperating with agencies within the county to make the community a better place.

Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Jack Meigs is running unopposed for his seat.

Circuit Court Judge Marvin Wiggins, however, is running against Farrell McKelvey Wright for the No. 3 judge position.

Wiggins, the incumbent, has served as Circuit Court judge for about five years. He said the circuit needed respectful, honest and God-fearing leadership.

Wiggins has created several agencies since he took office, including the Summer Employment Program, the Fourth Circuit Community Corrections Program and a faith-based initiative, which partners with churches and non-profit organizations and uses churches as community centers.

Wright has served as the Wilcox County District Court judge and as a Fourth Judicial Circuit Court judge. She has worked with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, the Administrative Office of Courts and the governor’s special commission on child welfare services.

According to Wright, solutions aren’t always found in the courtroom.

She said that judges must ensure juvenile programs exist. Programs that target drugs, alcohol and gambling abuse were also needed.

The race for U.S. representative is one of the few with a Republican candidate.

Republican Steve Cameron, though, will have to wait until November to challenge the winner of the Democratic primary June 1.

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis and Perry County Commissioner Albert Turner Jr. will fight for the Democratic nod this June.

Davis, who is shooting for his second term, said that he would continue to work on the area’s economic development if re-elected.

Davis pointed to several of his accomplishments when he declared his candidacy, including gaining $500,000 for a youth development center in Selma, $300,000 for the development of Craig Field Industrial Park and $14 million toward the expansion of Highway 80.

Turner said that infrastructure improvements must occur if the 7th Congressional District is to become self-sufficient.

As assistant director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Turner said he located millions of dollars for the state’s rural infrastructure problems.

Turner noted that as congressman, he would do even more.

In addition to state and federal races, Dallas County also has four county commission seats up for grabs. County Commissioner Connel Earl Towns Sr. and Barbara Barge are fighting for the District 1 seat.

Towns said he was concerned about everyone in his district and ensuring it becomes safe and clean.

As commissioner, he has worked on cleaning his district, demolishing old buildings and working with the Selma-Dallas County Centre for Commerce to bring industry to the area.

Barge said she would focus on problems such as crime, education and roads if elected.

According to Barge, many believe that if a problem isn’t addressed, it disappears. Barge said she would speak honestly about crime and tackle it head on.

Roy Moore is running unopposed for the District 2 seat. Moore, who has served as a commissioner for about 11 years, said his constituents’ biggest concern is roads.

According to Moore, several grants have enabled the completion of road projects, which include the access road at Craig Field Industrial Park.

County Commissioner Curtis Williams will face off with the Rev. Darryl Moore for the District 3 commission seat.

Williams said that his district needed someone with experience. He added that he has worked faithfully on county business for eight years.

Moore currently serves as the City of Selma’s building inspector.

County Commissioner Kim Ballard and Larry Nickles are looking toward the District 4 seat. Ballard said he chose to run again because he wanted to see several projects reach fruition. Projects include recruiting industry to the area and improving county roads.

Nickles said that government couldn’t do everything for its citizens. Instead, people should work with the government and not wait on it to provide for them.

If elected, Nickles plans on focusing on industry, roads and youth. Nickles said he wanted the community to sponsor activities such as the Selma youth baseball program.

Democrat William D. Minor Sr. is running for the Dallas County Board of Education District 1 seat. Republican Mark Story is running for the Dallas County Board of Education District 4 seat.