Salaam’s re-election try fails

Published 1:38 am Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In the race for the Alabama House of Representatives District 67 seat, voters have already decided to bring new representation to Montgomery.

Darrio Melton has been chosen as the Democratic candidate for the upcoming election, and because the District 67 seat does not have a Republican candidate, he will also run unopposed in November.

“People are hungering for something new, something different,” Melton said. “I’m not here to represent myself, I’m here to represent the people, and I think people spoke tonight with a loud volume.”

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Melton received 52.15 percent of the votes, a total of 5,518 votes, while Yusuf Salaam received 47.84 percent, a total of 5,062 votes.

Education and technology will be the main platforms of Melton’s term.

Although Melton will still need to run in the election in November before he can officially begin his term, he plans to start working with city and school officials right away.

“I’m going to try to start sitting down with the presidents of the colleges and principals and superintendents to see what we can do to further our education here in Dallas County,” Melton said.

Melton is associate pastor and church administrator at Tabernacle of Praise Church. He has served as a constituent service representative since 2004 as a liaison with state and federal agencies. Melton graduated from Emory University with a master of divinity degree.

Incumbent opponent Yusuf Salaam has served in the Alabama State House of Representatives since November 2002.

“My opponent ran a good race,” Salaam said. “I congratulate him. I thank the people of Selma for a good eight years.”

Salaam received his A.B. degree in History from the University of Georgia, Juris Doctor from the University of Miami, and L.L.M. from the University of Wisconsin. He has also worked as an attorney for 25 years.

In the polling location in Safford, 110 out of 225 voters turned out to the polls, a disheartening number to Safford Community Center Chief Polling Inspector Robert Caine. Low voter turnout was reported across the state.

“The thing that people need to think about is this election helps determine who gets elected in general,” Caine said. “If you’ve got a good candidate and he doesn’t get enough votes to go to the run-off, he’s out. So, I’m disappointed in the numbers.”

District 67 is made up solely of Dallas County, although a portion of the northwest area of Dallas County is in District 69.

Alabama House of Representative positions are four-year terms. Representatives must be 21 years old, be citizens of Alabama for three years, have lived in their respective district at least one year immediately preceding their election. They also must live in the district during their term.