Primary races take shape in Dallas County

Published 8:59 pm Saturday, February 8, 2014

A total of 14 candidates qualified for positions representing Dallas County in the June 3 statewide primaries.

The field of candidates is almost entirely comprised of Democrats, with one exception. The qualifying deadline was 5 p.m. on Friday.

Incumbent Terri Sewell and former Birmingham City Attorney Tamara Harris Johnson qualified for Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, which includes the Black Belt and parts of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. Both candidates will run as Democrats.

Email newsletter signup

Sewell, a Selma native, first took office in 2011. Prior to her stint in the U.S. House of Representatives, Sewell was a public finance attorney.

Johnson currently runs a private practice in Birmingham. In 2012, she ran for a spot on the Jefferson County Circuit Court and made it to a runoff, garnering 42 percent of the vote.

Incumbent Darrio Melton is the lone candidate who qualified to run for Alabama’s House of Representatives’ 67th District, which includes, almost exclusively, Dallas County. Melton is a Selma native and attended the Selma City School System. He first took office in 2010. Melton will run as a Democrat.

The Alabama Senate’s 23rd District race will pit incumbent Hank Sanders against former Selma Chief of Police Robert Green. Both candidates will run as Democrats.

Sanders, was born in Baldwin County, and is a practicing attorney in Selma.

Green, a Selma resident, served as police chief during former Mayor James Perkins’ time in office. Green previously ran for the 23rd District Seat in 2010.

Incumbent Harris Huffman will face local pastor Lee Green in the Dallas County Sheriff race. Both candidates will run as Democrats.

Huffman is seeking his sixth term as sheriff. He first took office in the mid 90s.

Green, a native of Tyler, currently works for the Department of Youth Services in addition to serving as a pastor at Salem Baptist Church.

The Dallas County School Board District 5 race is the only one that doesn’t include an incumbent. Current District  5 school board member Peggy Williamson cited personal reasons for deciding not to run for re-election.

Selma High football coach Leroy Miles will face local business owner Leonard Ingram in the District 5 race. Miles will run unopposed in the primary, as a Democrat. Leonard Ingram will also run unopposed in the primary, as a Republican.

Though Miles currently teaches at Selma High, he previously taught at Southside High School.

Ingram is a Dallas County native and chairs the local Republican Party.

The Dallas County Tax Assessor Race will include incumbent Weida Sheehan and Franklin Fortier. Both will run as Democrats.

In the Dallas County Tax Collector Race, incumbent Tammy King will face Cicely Nelson Curtis. Both will run as Democrats.

Incumbent Dallas County Coroner William Alan Dailey will run for re-election unopposed as a Democrat.

The statewide primary will be June 3. If necessary a primary runoff will be July 15.

Candidates who didn’t qualify with a party still have a chance to qualify for election. Candidates can run as an independent by presenting a petition with signatures of 3 percent or more of the voters in their precinct in the last gubernatorial election, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office.