Wade on Birmingham

Vote 2008: Surprisingly, incumbents win


Meanwhile, Obama makes history

Vivian Figures, Jeff SessionsIn today’s state primary, Sen. Jeff Sessions handily won the Republican primary, facing state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, who bested two opponents to take the Democratic nomination.

For the Court of Criminal Appeals, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Clyde Jones won for Place 1 on the Democratic ticket, facing the winner of the GOP runoff between appeals court attorney Beth Kellum and former Montgomery County District Judge Lucie McLemore. For Place 2, deputy state attorney general Mary Windom (Republican) will face Montgomery attorney Aimee Cobb Smith (Democrat).

And for Public Service Commission president, Lucy Baxley, who ran uncontested on the Democratic ballot, will face the GOP runoff winner, either Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (senior adviser to Gov. Bob Riley and former chairwoman of the Alabama Republican Party) or Matt Chancey.

Closer to home in Jefferson County, Gaynell Hendricks won the Democratic nomination for Tax Assessor over incumbent Dan Weinrib and will face Republican Jeff Caddell in November. You may recall Hendricks lost the District 54 seat to Patricia Todd in a heated and contested race.

For Treasurer, Jennifer Parsons Champion won the Dems’ nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Ken Gomany.

In Shelby County, the GOP winners in the County Commission races are incumbents Corley Ellis and Jon Parker. Runoffs will pit Tommy Edwards vs. incumbent Earl Cunningham in District 2 and Rick Shepherd vs. Jonathan Spann in District 4. No Democrats ran.

Voter turnout was about 8.3 percent in Jefferson County, 4 to 5 percent in Shelby County. Statewide, it was about 14 percent, down from 16 percent in June 2004 and 20 percent in June 2000.

Barack ObamaAnd if you’ve stuck with us this far, Sen. Barack Obama, who won the Alabama Democratic presidential primary four(!) months ago, earned enough delegates (super and otherwise) to become the official nominee. As the first black presidential candidate on a major party ticket, he faces Republican Sen. John McCain in the campaign without end.

So, at least something happened on this last day of primaries.

The runoffs take place July 15. And Election Day is Nov. 4.

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Complete Vote 2008 coverage.

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