Probate judge victory ‘bittersweet’ as longtime politician leaves slot

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Kim Ballard is Dallas County’s newly-elected probate judge. And he says the victory is quite humbling.

“(The election) is not about me. It’s about what the people are expecting from me as probate judge and I hope I don’t let anyone down,” Ballard said.

Email newsletter signup

Ballard and throngs of supporters gathered at the Henderson House in Selma Tuesday night. Huddled around a single radio placed on a grand piano, Ballard, a Democrat, learned that he carried 83 percent of the vote against Republican opponent Brock “The Colonel” Wells.

Approximately 10,894 votes were cast for Ballard, who currently serves as a county commissioner.

Wells carried 17 percent of the vote with approximately 2,284 votes cast.

Ballard succeeds Probate Judge Johnny Jones, who has served five elected terms since 1976. Jones chose not to seek re-election this year.

Ballard said his victory and Jones’ exit will “be a bittersweet time for me.” Jones will step down as probate judge on Jan. 15.

“I’m looking forward to (serving), but I’m going to miss our buddy,” Ballard said.

Ballard – who has been campaigning for the probate judge slot since February – said he refused to engage in any negative attacks during the primary or general elections, citing such tactics are not his style.

Wells, who spent Tuesday night at his Valley Grande residence, said he was disappointed with the election results, but was not surprised.

“I feel like Selma missed an opportunity of a lifetime,” Wells said. “I just don’t see Mr. Ballard is carrying Selma forward.”

Prior to the election Wells had planned to move to Foley, Ala., but put those plans on hold to run his campaign in hopes to bring fresh and innovative perspective to Selma and Dallas County.

Now with the campaign behind him, Wells said he will now pursue his previous plans.

“Hopefully we’re gonna continue with our plans and get to Foley as soon as we possibly can,” Wells said.

“It’s not that we’re leaving because we dislike Selma, it’s just that we don’t see any progress being made. So why stay with a losing horse.”