Clemons unseats Walker in commission chairman race

Tuberville to face Jones in U.S. Senate contest in November

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Cullman County Commission Chairman-Elect Jeff Clemons poses with his wife Deborah Clemons Tuesday night. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. –  The long-awaited Republican Primary Runoff Election came to a close Tuesday night, and at the end, challenger Jeff “Clem” Clemons defeated incumbent Kenneth Walker for the Cullman County Commission chairman seat. The runoff was originally scheduled for March 31, 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With only provisional ballots left to count, Clemons garnered 66.43% of the vote to Walker’s 33.57%.

Clemons told The Tribune, “I’m pretty excited. You know, I’m so proud that the citizens of Cullman County have spoken, and I think they want better leadership and accountability and transparency in our county government. And you know, I’ve spent a lot of time all across Cullman County visiting with our citizens. You know, I’ve listened to their concerns, and it’s a great honor. It’s a great honor.”

Asked what he will do first, Clemons said, “The first thing we’ve got to do: we’ve got to figure out if there’s any wasteful spending and try to cut the wasteful spending. And then we’ve got to try to utilize that money for our crumbling road system because, you know, we’ve got a serious problem in Cullman County. I know we can’t pave every road in Cullman County, but we’ve got to look at ways to save money to try to fix our roads.”

Asked what he will do tomorrow, Clemons concluded with a smile, “I’m going to rest.”

Clem said of his wife Deborah Clemons, “I want to thank my wife for this long, hard campaign. And she’s had to put up with a lot, you know, on this journey, but she’s been by my side, and I want to thank her for it.”

Deborah Clemons told The Tribune that she is proud of her husband, both of his election and the good reputation that helped him win, saying, “Jeff will be a very hard working, honest person. We’ve been married 32 years, and he’s always worked. Whatever he does, he works hard at what he does, and he will serve the people really, really well.”

Reached by phone Tuesday night, Walker said, “I appreciate the two-term opportunity to serve the citizens of Cullman County. I served them as well as I told them I would. There was a 30-day reserve and got to a 120-day reserve. I was trying to take care of every citizen in Cullman County. I am not offended by getting beat by election because if people wanted the change and they voted it in, I’m good and well and I will continue to move forward.”

As for what he’ll do next, Walker said, “I got plenty to do. Plenty to do! They don’t need to worry about me because I will continue forward and doing what I’ve always done.” 

Another race decided Tuesday night was that of which Republican will face U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama in November. In Cullman County, Former Auburn Football coach Tommy Tuberville took 69.92% of the vote, with former U.S. Senator and U.S. Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions trailing behind at 30.08%. Statewide (with 56 of 67 counties reporting) Tuberville had 60.76% to Sessions’ 39.24%

The only other race on the ballot in Cullman County was that for Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, Place No. 2. In Cullman County, Will Smith had 51.19% of the vote and Beth Kellum had 48.81%. Statewide, (with 56 of 67 counties reporting) Kellum had 55.37% to Smith’s 44.63%.

See countywide results at http://co.cullman.al.us/elections-results.html.

See statewide results at https://bit.ly/3h3ccfw.

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Wendy Sack

wendy@cullmantribune.com

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com