Mark Story confirmed as candidate for Senate 23

Published 10:52 pm Friday, May 18, 2018

By Adam Dodson
The Selma Times-Journal

Voters at the ballot box on Nov. 6 will now have an option between two different candidates for Alabama State Senate District 23 after Mark Story qualified to run as an independent candidate.

He was confirmed by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office on May 17 after the petition to get his name on the ballot reached above the minimum requirement of names.

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“There were more than enough signatures for me to be on the ballot,” Story said. “The support just keeps coming. It has been amazing the support we have received. I am very excited and optimistic moving forward from here.”

The approximately 1,650 signatures on the petition was around 400 more than the required amount, and Story says around 200 to 300 more signatures have come in since then.

Story had considered a previous run at running for the Senate seat, but understood the challenge it would be to defeat decades-long incumbent Hank Sanders. Story originally wanted to run in four years’ time. However, the announcement of Sanders’ retirement moved up his time line and catalyzed his motivation.

Once Sanders decided to retire, his daughter, Malika Sanders-Fortier, qualified to run for the seat. She was the only one up to this point to have qualified, making her an uncontested candidate.

Seeing an opportunity, Story decided to get to work with the signatures. In a span of less than four weeks, he had everything required to be a candidate for Senate seat 23. He said the level of support he has received is something he cherishes, and would characterize much of his support as grassroots.

After receiving the sufficient amount of signatures, Story turned in the petition to Edward Packard, administrator of elections for the State Secretary of State.

For Story, it was more than just about running, but about giving the people of Dallas County an option.

“They have a choice now to elect a person who is thinking neutral and independent. It gives them an option,” Story said. “It is refreshing. I feel most people would tell you they vote person over party.”

The general election for the Senate seat is scheduled for Nov. 6.

Story, an independent, has 21 years of experience as a member of the Navy Reserves, including a tour to Iraq in 2005.

He has served on the Dallas County Board of Education for the past 18 years and is the current chairman.

Story announced his decision in early April. Sanders-Fortier qualified to run in early February.

In addition to State Senate District 23, other offices such as State House of Representatives District 67, Dallas County Probate Judge, and Dallas County Circuit Clerk, among others, will also be open for election.