CULLMAN – Major party candidate qualification for the 2018 Alabama general election opened on Jan. 8. After the first week, the candidates listed below are known to have qualified for candidacy in the election, or are known to be in the process of qualifying. Qualification will close on Feb. 9.
In addition to offices being contested, at least one constitutional amendment will also be on the ballot.
Constitutional amendment: Alabama State Abortion Policy Amendment
Many conservatives feel that, under a Trump administration, the possibility of a repeal of Roe v. Wade could be on the horizon. In case that happens, Rep. Matt Fridy, R-Montevallo introduced a constitutional amendment as House Bill 98 (HB 98), that would prevent Alabama’s Constitution from being used as a basis for challenging the repeal. The amendment would add the following statements to the State Constitution:
“(a) This state acknowledges, declares, and affirms that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life.
(b) This state further acknowledges, declares, and affirms that it is the public policy of this state to ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate.
(c) Nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”
The bill passed the House in its original form, and a modified form (emphasizing the attorney general’s responsibility to defend the amendment vigorously if challenged in court) passed the Senate after withstanding a Democratic senator’s effort to attach an amendment that would have required the state to pay for the upbringing of any child whose mother certified that she would have preferred to abort the child. The new form of the bill containing the statement about the attorney general went back to the House where it was approved. All three votes were mainly along party lines.
On November’s ballot, the amendment will read:
“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended; to declare and otherwise affirm that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful; and to provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
Offices on the ballot
Several Republicans have already qualified to run by submitting the necessary paperwork and paying required fees. According to North-Central Alabama Young Democrats President Roger Duke, at the time of the writing of this story, only three Democrats had officially qualified or had indicated to the Cullman County Democratic Party that they were in the process of qualifying.
Candidates listed for governor and lt. governor have declared their intent, but their qualification status was not yet available.
- Kay Ivey – Incumbent
- Tommy Battle – Mayor of Huntsville
- Scott Dawson – Evangelist and minister
- Bill Hightower – State senator, businessman
- Jason Childs, former pastor, pro-marijuana activist
- Sue Bell Cobb, Former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court
- Chris Countryman, founder of Equality Wiregrass, gay rights activist
- James C. Fields, from Colony, former state representative
- Walt Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa
- Anthony White, Army veteran and ordained minister, businessman
- Will Ainsworth, State Representative
- Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, Alabama Public Service Commission Chairwoman
- Rusty Glover, State Senator
- Will Boyd, Lauderdale County Democratic Party Executive Committee Chairman
U.S. House of Representatives, District 4
- Robert Aderholt, Incumbent
- Mike Moses, Army veteran, Redstone Arsenal contractor
- Phil Norris, Navy veteran, Allstate Financial Services financial specialist
- Rick Neighbors, Army Vietnam veteran, businessman
- Lee Auman, guest services manager at Camp McDowell, Episcopal Diocese of Alabama
Alabama House of Representatives, District 11
- Randall Shedd, Republican incumbent
Alabama House of Representatives District 9
To date, all candidates are Republicans, seeking to replace Rep. Ed Henry, who announced that he will not seek re-election.
- James R. Bowling, businessman, volunteer fire captain from Priceville
- Justin Morrow, businessman from Hartselle
- Scott Stadthagen, businessman, chairman of Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce
Cullman County Commission
- Garry Marchman, west side Associate Commissioner, Republican incumbent
- Kerry Watson, east side Associate Commissioner, Republican incumbent
Cullman County Board of Education
To date, all candidates are Republicans
- Bill Ballew, Fairview District, to replace incumbent Chris Carter
- Kenny Brockman, Hanceville District, incumbent
- Mike Graves, Vinemont, incumbent
To date, all candidates are Republicans
- Lisa Parker McSwain, Circuit Clerk, incumbent
- Judge Greg Nicholas and Judge Martha Williams, Circuit Judges, incumbents
- Tammy Brown, Probate Judge, incumbent
Cullman County Coroner
- Jeremy Kilpatrick, Republican incumbent
- Gary Murphree, Democrat, former Cullman County Coroner
Alabama Statewide Primary Election – June 5, 2018
Primary Runoff Election – July 17, 2018
General Election – Nov. 6, 2018
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