Qualifying begins for 2018 primaries

Published 10:30 pm Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Candidates planning to run for office in June’s primary election can now submit their qualifying paperwork.

The qualifying period opened Monday morning for both the Democratic and Republican parties and is set to close Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. Candidates must have their paperwork filed and fees paid by then to qualify for the election.

There will be several county and state seats up for grabs in the election, which is scheduled for June 5. If needed, a primary runoff election is scheduled for July 17. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 6.

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Local races include probate judge, sheriff, two seats on the Dallas County Board of Education, coroner, Dallas County Democratic Executive Committee, circuit clerk, circuit judge place 1, state representative for District 67 and state senator for District 23.

There will be somewhat of a changing of the guard in several county offices in 2018. Probate Judge Kim Ballard and Sheriff Harris Huffman will not to seek re-election. Circuit Clerk Cheryl Strong-Ratcliff recently announced she will step down at the end of the month.

Synethia Pettaway, chair of the Dallas County Democratic Executive Committee, said Tuesday that several potential candidates have already come into the office inquiring about qualifying.

According to a list of candidates that have already qualified from the Alabama Democratic party, only Sen. Hank Sanders and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell have qualified so far for the election. No candidates have qualified for the Republican party, according to a list posted by the Alabama Republican party. The qualifying period is expected to be a busy one with so many races on the ballot.

“We expect for at least two or more to run for sheriff, circuit clerk and for probate judge,” Pettaway said.

Pettaway said there is a slight change to a qualifying process. She said in the past, candidates had five days after they filed their paperwork to file their statement of economic interest for the previous calendar year with the Alabama Ethics Commission.

“They used to have five days to do it, but now they have to do it the day that they file,” Pettaway said.

Democratic candidates with questions can call Pettaway at (334) 874-6538 or (334) 412-6044 or come by the office, which is located at 1600 Broad St. in the Thomas Accounting building.

Republican candidates interested in qualifying should contact ALGOP political director Reed Phillips at (205) 212-5900 or rphillips@algop.org.

Each party will publish candidates’ names online as they qualify. Those lists can be found online at http://aldemocrats.org/blog/list_of_qualified_candidates_for_2018 and https://algop.org/elections/qualified-candidates/.