Republican Dominated Races

Jul 16, 2014

Republican office-seekers dominated Tuesday's runoff election.  The final tally in the secretary of state race, Tuscaloosa Representative John Merrill easily defeated former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney for the position.  Merrill received 53 percent while McKinney polled 47 percent. 

Mobile attorney Jim Zeigler won the GOP nomination for state auditor, he defeated Hoover businessman Dale Peterson by a margin of 66 to 33 percent. 

A sometimes bitter race for Place 2 on the State Public Service Commission ended with Chip Beeker upsetting incumbent Terry Dunn for the Republican nomination, Beeker pulled in 59 percent in Dunn's 41 percent. 

Another closely watched race involved the seat for Congress in District 6 in the Birmingham area where Gary Palmer won a convincing 28 point victory to defeat State Representative Paul DeMarco of Homewood. 

There was one Democratic runoff for a legislative seat in west Alabama, incumbent State Representative Ralph Howard of Greensboro defeated challenger Thomas Moore for House District 72. 

Constitutional Amendment

Alabama voters have approved a constitutional amendment that will allow cotton farmers to vote to make a one dollar fee mandatory that they have been paying voluntarily on each bale of cotton.  With 99 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday night, the constitutional amendment was passing with 67 percent voting year and 33 percent voting no. 

Cemetery Owner

A decades-long dispute over who owns Montgomery's first African-American cemetery is over.  The Alabama Supreme Court recently upheld a ruling from Montgomery Circuit Judge Charles Price that Bobby Cheney is the owner of the often-neglected cemetery on Harrison Road.  Last night, City Councilman Arch Lee said a city ordinance governing cemeteries needs a second look.  In other action, the city council reappointed Phillip Taunton and added Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnnie Hardwick to a Cemetery and Rehabilitation Authority.  Taunton said the authority will oversee all of the city's burial plots. 

Carr Award

Johnnie Carr Middle School has received a prestigious honor.  The school on Ray Thorington Road has been granted IB World School Status.  The designation means Johnnie Carr Middle School will offer the Middle Years Program to students 11 to 16.  MYP is a rigorous academic program designed to teach students to connect traditional subjects and real world. 

Tax-Free Weekend

Alabama's tax-free weekend for back-to-school clothes and supplies is scheduled for the first weekend in August.  The state Revenue Department says the 4 percent state sales tax will be waived from Friday, August 1st  through Sunday, August 3rd.  Many cities and counties are also waiving their local sales taxes.