By Alton Mitchell
In June residents around Chambers County will return to the polls to elect new representation in various positions during the primary elections. The qualify period for those candidates has ended and those who are seeking to have their names on the ballot are now in the process of putting their campaigns in full swing.
According to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office in Montgomery they are still compiling a list of certified candidates who will appear on the ballot. The Secretary of State should have a list of certified candidates no later than March 21st.The Chambers County Probate Office also does not yet have a full list of all candidates on the ballot for the upcoming election, but the races are heating up.
Locally many posts are up for grab. One of the most watched elections is the race for Circuit Judge. State Representative Isaac Whorton is one of the candidates seeking to fill the seat for the position that covers Chambers, Macon, Randolph, and Tallapoosa County. Prior to his activities in the state legislature, Whorton practiced law from his offices in Valley. Whorton is running on Alabama’s Republican ticket.
Opposing Whorton will be Democrat Mike Segrest. Segrest is also an attorney who resides in the Macon County, Alabama community of Shorter. His practice is based out of Tallassee. Segrest is seeking to follow in his father’s footsteps. Former Judge Dale Segrest filled the seat which his son is now running for from 1983 to 2001. The elder Segrest was defeated in his seat in 2001 and was followed up by Judge Tom Young, who has held the seat for the past 18 years but has recently announced his retirement.
As State Representative Whorton has given up his seat to seek election in the Circuit Judge seat, he has vacated his seat in the House. The vacating by Whorton leaves the House District 38 seat open and several candidates are hoping to fill the void left.
Three candidates are reported to be running on the Republican ticket. The candidates include Bryan A. Murphy, Todd Rauch, and Debbie Hamby Wood. The three GOP candidates will be running against one Democratic candidate. According to the Alabama Democratic Party Brian McGee is seeking to fill the seat vacated by Whorton in the Alabama State House.
Little information has been released about the candidates running for the House 38 seat. Debbie Wood has served as a member of the Chambers County Commission since 2002. She will be vacating her seat as she seeks to run for the higher state level office. Also running for the seat on the Republican ticket is Opelika native, Todd Rauch. Rauch is a United States Army Veteran and alumni of Auburn University.
The Democratic candidate for the House seat is also coming from the Lee County area. Former Vietnam vet, Brian McGee is no stranger to the Alabama political spectrum. Last year, McGee ran briefly for the United States Senate seat that was vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. However, he ended his campaign in July of 2017 and endorsed candidate Doug Jones in a quest to give the Democratic Party a little more leverage. McGee has been employed by the U.S. Department of Defense school for 26 years, where he was a teacher. The House District 38 seat covers Chambers and Lee County.
The House seat being sought by Commissioner Debbie Wood will leave the District 6 seat open in Chambers County. Candidates are seeking to fill the void left by Commissioner Wood. Two Candidates are on the ballot for the seat they are Chambers County native Debra Riley and recent Valley High School graduate Bo Colley. The 2015 graduate of Valley High lost an election for the Valley City Council District 1 in 2016.
Candidate Lisa M. Burdette presently shows no opposition in her quest to run as Chambers County Circuit Clerk. Burdette is presently the only candidate listed on the ballot for the position. Burdette is running on the Republican ticket for the position with Alabama Democrats showing no candidate for the position presently listed as qualified.
LaFayette area attorney Susan K. Harmon is seeking to fill the seat for Chambers County Probate Judge on the Democratic ticket. She is challenged by incumbent, Brandy Easlick. Two others, Valley Councilman Paul Story and former probate judge, Cary Baldwin will battle it out in the Republican Party.
Forty-Seven-year law enforcement veteran Sheriff Sid Lockhart is also seeking re-election. Sheriff Lockhart will be running against Chad Roberts. Chambers County District Judge Calvin Milford will be running unopposed for his set in the upcoming election.
The names that will appear on the ballot are still coming forward. The Chambers County Probate Office is still awaiting a full list of certified candidates. New candidates should be certified in the coming days and weeks for the upcoming election. The primary elections will be held on June 5th with the general election scheduled for November.