Chestnut avoids runoff in State Rep. race

Published 10:20 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Prince Chestnut will represent District 67 in the Alabama House of Representatives after getting nearly 70 percent of the vote Tuesday in a special primary election.

Out of 4,025 votes cast in Dallas County, Chestnut earned 2,755 votes.

Latrell Richardson finished in second place with 593 votes, Raymond Butler in third place with 535 votes and Valenci’a Quest in fourth with 139 votes.

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Richardson had 14.74 percent of the votes, Butler had 13.3 percent and Quest had 3.46 percent.

“I’m just very overwhelmed with appreciation and thankfulness in my heart for the people in District 67. I want to run through a brick wall for them,” Chestnut said after hearing the news at his campaign headquarters. “The folks came out for me. For that many folks to come out and cast their votes, that’s special because in a special election you’re going to vote for a person because of that particular person.”

Chestnut also carried Perry County, which parts of are included in District 67.

Chestnut won all but four of 30 boxes counted Tuesday night. Butler won the Orrville Community Center and absentee, while Richardson won Tipton School and Carlowville-Minter Volunteer Fire Department.

“I want to say to all of the others that were in the race that they were gracious. Everybody was respectful,” he said. “I never had any bad or choice words with any of the other three. I think everybody just ran their race, which is what people need.”

Suzanne Ingram, chief clerk of the Dallas County Probate Office, said around 15 percent of registered voters in Dallas County went to the polls.

The general election saw  nearly a 60 percent turnout in November.

With the legislative session looming in six days, Chestnut said he is eager to have the results certified and be sworn in so he can get to work.

“I am ready to get to work,” he said.

“I just feel so good about the situation because … for the first time in my lifetime, at every level, that the folks can actually work together. And I think that’s a recipe to get something done.”

Chestnut ran on a platform of reducing crime, creating jobs, repairing streets and supporting education.

He is a Selma native and practices law in Selma. He is the presiding judge over the city of Selma’s Municipal Court.

Chestnut is married to Alicia Roye, and together they have one daughter, Cadence Elizabeth.

In an interview prior to the election, Chestnut said his experience as a lawyer qualifies him for the position.

“Being a legislator is synonymous with being a lawmaker. I’m a lawyer that actually has a focused practice that gives me a special skillset that uniquely qualifies me to be a legislator,” he said.

“It has given me a very good insight into how policy is made.”

Chestnut will serve the remainder of former Rep. Darrio Melton’s term.

Tuesday’s election was the special primary election.

No Republican candidates qualified for the race.

The deadline for third party or independent candidates trying to file paperwork was Jan. 31 by 5 p.m. It is unclear if anyone filed papers with intent to run.