Local races dominate primary elections

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 29, 2004

The lawn signs are blooming. There’s a new crop of bumper stickers, and candidates are cultivating support. An election is fast approaching.

Well, it’s actually this Tuesday, June 1.

It’s time to start thinking about who you want to lead this county, prosecute the accused and lead this nation.

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Local races

District Attorney

The Second Judicial Circuit is comprised of Butler, Lowndes and Crenshaw counties.

Currently John Andrews serves as the circuit’s district attorney.

He was appointed in 2001 by the governor to finish the unexpired term of Van Gholston, who retired.

Challenging Andrews is Charlotte Tesmer, Gholston’s chief assistant district attorney.

In 2001, on taking the office, Andrews dismissed Tesmer and several others on taking office.


The salary for each district attorney is set by the state, which pays not only the officer but also any employees of the circuit’s DA’s office.

The district attorney handles all prosecutions for the county and circuit.

County Commission

District 1

Incumbent Gary Hanks is completing his second term on the Commission.

Margaret Pierce is making her first run for political office in her quest to unseat Hanks.

If elected, Pierce would become the first woman in the county’s history elected to a Commission post. She was one of the top two choices to replace Judge MacDonald Russell as probate judge.

Charles DeShields is making his second run for the District 1 seat.

He and Hanks faced each other in 2000 in the Primary and then in the ensuing run-off.

Less than 20 votes separated the two following the run-off.

Whoever comes out on top in the primary will then face Republican challenger Jerry Hartin, of Georgiana in the November election.

District 2

Jesse McWilliams is seeking his second term for the Commission seat.

Leroy Johnson Sr. is making his third run for the District 2 seat.

He served on the Commission from 1996 until 2000 when McWilliams defeated him in the primary.

The winner of the race in June will face Independent Tom Crenshaw, who is a farmer in the Greenville area.

District 3

Frank Hickman, who was appointed to fill the term of the late Joe Hendrix, now seeks a full term on his own accord. This is his first run for office.

Gene Gibson is making his second run for the seat.

Vernon S. Herring is running to retake the seat he lost in 1996 to Republican Joe Hendrix in the November general election. Herring has eight years of service on the commission.

District 4

Daniel Robinson has no opposition for the Democratic primary.

He is completing his second term and seeks another four years.

District 5

William Phillips is completing his first term on the commission.

Glenn King is challenging Phillips for the seat.

This is his first run for political office.

The winner will face no opposition at this time in November.


County commissioners earn $19,745.44 annually for their work.

Revenue Commissioner

On your ballot, you will find a special race which will decide if Butler County would combine the offices of Tax Assessor and Tax Collector once the current officers’ terms expire.

Most counties throughout Alabama have gone through the process of combing the offices as a cost saving measure.

Both Belle Peavy and Carolyn Middleton have said the plan is good for the county.

National races

In the race for the White House, Sen. John Kerry will be on the ballot for the democratic Presidential nomination.