GOP qualifying starts in county


Let's clean out the notebook ...

We didn't run a photo with the basic information Wednesday, but the local and state Republicans did start qualifying for next year's elections on Tuesday. By the end of the day, Walker County Republican Chairwoman Linda Ensor had a list posted. All qualifying in both parties ends Nov. 8 at 5 p.m.

Revenue Commissioner Jerry Guthrie qualified to run for his fifth - and probably final - six-year term Tuesday as qualifying began that day for the GOP.  He has not had opposition in recent years, as I understand it, so I would be surprised if that happens this time. 

Others qualifying locally Tuesday included District 2 Commissioner Jeff Burrough for re-election, and James "Jim" Borden and D. Michael Pate for District 3 commissioner.  Teia Harris qualified for county board of education chairman, while Terry Stripling signed up for constable in Precinct 1.

Of course, qualifying for the judicial races have to be done at the state office, not with the local chairwoman. According to the state GOP website, incumbent Christopher A. Sherer (who was recently appointed to replace retiring Circuit Judge Jerry Selman) and Joeletta Martin Barrentine qualified for circuit judge through the state. Also, District Judge Henry Allred qualified for re-election. 

• I had hoped to tape a YouTube interview with Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville Tuesday afternoon, but he was running terribly late after a reception at Lavish, and still had to speak at the East Walker Chamber of Commerce that night. I knew the podcast would only take about 10 minutes and was already set up to do, so we did that and dropped the interview. I had learned Tuberville will be in Jasper to speak to BamaCarry on Monday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. at Five Loaves, so we are arranging to do the video interview before then. (That should hopefully give me time to get to the Carbon Hill City Council.)

By the way, his young campaign manager, Paul Shashy of Montgomery, apologized repeatedly and was a nice guy, who talked about how genuine and outgoing his boss is, too. While we waited on the podcast to finish, he asked to see the back issues, apparently showing an interest in George Wallace. I pulled up a book from the early 1970s showing photos and coverage of Wallace. His reaction made me realize there is a lot of great stuff people would be amazed to see in those old books. (It was even more interesting to me to see coverage of the impeachment process against Nixon being started. It is déjà vu all over again.) 

For that matter, we have been approached to interview Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth in an interview when he is in town today for  the ribbon cutting of the Bevill State Community College Workforce Solutions Rapid Training Center. We hope to have a print story and some video coverage, as workforce development is one of his personal interests, I'm told. 

• The ABC 33/40 report on the budget problems for the Marion County Commission also touched on the economic problems of the county in general. It is not easy these days. The Walmart in Hamilton is cutting back from 24 hours to a 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. schedule. It is still a tough economy over there, although people are looking forward to the new truck stop on the interstate.

By the way, I had been meaning to have lunch with the reporter from that Marion County piece, Stephen Quinn, as he comes to Walker County a lot. We both had an off day last week and we had lunch at Niki's West. To my surprise, we hit it off so well we had one of those three-hour lunch conversations that no one has anymore, talking about a long list of subjects. I have to say, that was a good experience I needed. Quinn turned out to be an engaging, intelligent guy - I already knew he was a good reporter. 

Oh, and since we left the place at like 4 p.m. - Quinn had been late due to traffic on Highway 280 - I can tell you now with certainty that a lot of people are still coming and going late in the afternoon there. One far side area was empty, but people were still eating in the restaurant. You should have seen it when several buses from Hoover brought senior citizens for lunch - that place was absolutely packed for Friday lunch. 

• Someone in the office was asking about Walker County Commission Chairman Jerry Bishop, as they noticed in the photo we carried from the breast cancer awareness emphasis that he has lost weight and was worried about him. He had some health problems, but he has been feeling much better of late and has purposefully losing some of the excess weight. Those around him are actually quite relieved about his condition these days. 

• One of the cable news shows got some woman who was involved in the congressional work behind the Watergate investigations in Congress. She said in regards to the House not voting lately as a whole to start an impeachment investigation that since the Watergate era that the rules have changed to allow the Congress more investigative powers to where the House doesn't really need to have a formal vote. Frankly, the Founding Fathers, like a lot of things with impeachment, never set any rules for starting the investigation in the Constitution. I would think it is however and whatever the House wants to do to start it. 

• Do not forget the Oakman shelter ribbon cutting is 5 p.m. today, and that the Capstone clinic will have their open house Friday from 2-4 p.m. Days Gap in Oakman is also Friday and Saturday this weekend, and Pets on Parade will be at Gamble Park from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.