Alabama GOP voters decide on secretary of state and other nominees

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FILE - Cyclists cross a boardwalk at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama in this March 12, 2020 file photo. Voters in Alabama on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 will consider a constitutional amendment that would provide $85 million for improvements to state <a class=parks and historic sites. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)” title=”FILE – Cyclists cross a boardwalk at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama in this March 12, 2020 file photo. Voters in Alabama on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 will consider a constitutional amendment that would provide $85 million for improvements to state parks and historic sites. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)” loading=”lazy”/>

FILE – Cyclists cross a boardwalk at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama in this March 12, 2020 file photo. Voters in Alabama on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 will consider a constitutional amendment that would provide $85 million for improvements to state parks and historic sites. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

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Republican voters in Alabama will decide their party’s nominees in four statewide races on Tuesday after campaigns in which many candidates touted their devotion to faith, former President Donald Trump and firearms. A statewide constitutional amendment to fund park improvements is also on the ballot.

Here are the main races to watch:

SECRETARY OF STATE

Four Republicans and one Democrat are on the primary ballot to succeed GOP incumbent John Merrill as Alabama’s top election official, secretary of state.

Ed Packard, who worked in the secretary of state’s elections division for nearly 25 years, is seeking the Republican nomination in an area that includes Jim Zeigler, who has been barred from running again as auditor of the state due to term limits; State Representative Wes Allen of Troy, who served nearly a decade as a probate judge in Pike County; and Christian Horn, a GOP activist and Madison County business owner.

None of the four candidates raised major complaints about election problems in Alabama, which is controlled by Republicans and voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in 2020. But all spoke of the steps needed to strengthen election security, a question popularized among conservatives by Trump’s fake. claims the 2020 election was stolen by President Joe Biden.

Merrill could no longer run for office after serving two terms. The eventual Republican nominee will face Democrat Pamela J. Laffitte of Mobile in November.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall faces only one primary challenger as he seeks a second four-year term as the state’s top law enforcement official.

First appointed to the position in 2017, Marshall is opposed by Harry Bartlett Still III, a lawyer for Daphne.

Marshall, who previously served as a district attorney in Marshall County, regularly opposes initiatives launched by Democratic President Joe Biden, including vaccination requirements for COVID-19 and federal policies along the border with the Mexico, and he testified against the appointment of current Judge Ketanji Brown. Jackson before the United States Supreme Court.

He still argues that corruption is endemic in state government and that the agency that oversees police standards and training in the state needs to be revamped to increase public confidence in law enforcement. . He also supports replacing Alabama’s heavily amended constitution, adopted in 1901 to ensure white supremacy.

The winner will face Democratic candidate Wendell Major, police chief for the town of Tarrant in the Birmingham area, in November.

STATE AUDITOR

Candidates for Alabama’s state auditor job typically stress the importance of tracking state assets, but three Republicans seeking the job this year added another talking point to the era of misrepresentation of a stolen presidential vote – election security.

Stan Cooke, a pastor from Kimberly; Rusty Glover, a former Semmes history professor who served in the state Senate; and State Representative Andrew Sorrell of Muscle Shoals all emphasize the auditor’s role in selecting county registration boards when seeking the position.

Almost directly echoing former President Donald Trump’s false claims, Cooke’s campaign website says the state must get ahead of the Democrats before they “try to steal our election like they did in Pennsylvania. , in Arizona and even in our neighbor to the east, Georgia”.

The incumbent, Jim Zeigler, failed to seek re-election after serving two terms and is running for Secretary of State.

Winning the Republican nomination is tantamount to an election because no Democrat is qualified to run for office.

SUPREME COURT

A Republican nominee for Alabama Supreme Court is trying to woo voters with a mix that includes his devotion to God and former President Donald Trump. The other focuses on his experience in the courtroom – and his weapon.

Greg Cook, a Birmingham Underground barrister, and Debra Jones, a circuit judge who hears cases in Calhoun and Cleburne, are seeking the Republican nomination for the Place 5 Supreme Court seat held by Justice Mike Bolin, who is taking his retirement.

Cook presents himself as a “Trump-tough” Republican who was a Trump delegate and represented conservative interests in Florida’s 2000 presidential recount contest between Al Gore and President George W. Bush. Along with partisan and legal credentials, Cook’s campaign resume showcases his longtime church membership and leadership.

Jones released an ad at the end of the campaign touting her support for Trump, her short stature – “She’s 5 feet of concrete” – and a case in which she sentenced a convicted child molester to over 1,000 years. from prison. The spot shows her firing a handgun and saying the only reason she didn’t put the person “under jail” was because “liberals” wouldn’t let her.

All nine members of the court are Republicans, and the winner of the Place 5 race will be a heavy favorite over Democrat Anita L. Kelly, a Montgomery judge in the general election.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

Voters will decide to let the state go into debt with $85 million in bonds to beautify Alabama’s state parks and historic sites.

A statewide constitutional amendment on the ballot would provide $80 million in funding for state park projects, including the addition and improvement of campsites, the addition of wireless service, upgrading electric and water service, replacing playgrounds, building swimming pools, and repairing parts of Gulf State Park damaged by Hurricane Sally.

The remaining $5 million would go to the Alabama Historical Commission for the acquisition, renovation, and maintenance of the state’s historic parks. The agency would not be allowed to use money from Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury. The park is funded by a levy originally intended for needy Confederate veterans.

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