Blasingame allowed to be on ballot
Published 7:30 pm Thursday, December 20, 2018
LaFAYETTE— The ballot for the vacant seat on the LaFayette City Council will have three names on it in February.
Former LaFayette Mayor and Councilman David Ennis, retired engineer Shannon Hunter and Charlotte Blasingame, runner-up to in the 2016 District B council election, will be the choices during the special election set to take place Feb. 12.
The seat is open due to the resignation of former mayor and council member Mathew Hurst in June.
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Ennis and Hunter qualified early, but Blasingame had to wait to learn her fate due to paperwork issues with the Chambers County Probate Office.
LaFayette City Clerk Louis Davidson said candidates must file a statement of interest at the LaFayette City Hall. Additionally, they must submit a principal campaign committee form at the Chambers County Probate Judge’s office with five days of qualifying at the city level and a statement of economic interest with the Alabama Ethics Commission.
Blasingame failed to file the campaign committee form to the probate judge’s office, but Davidson said the Alabama Secretary of State gave the opinion that failure to file does not keep her from being on the ballot.
He said the state’s opinion is that failure to file could lead to investigation or prosecution because of the involvement of campaign finances. Blasingame said Thursday she would be filing with probate’s office.
Davidson said failure to file is a violation of the Fair Campaign Fairness Act.
Now that legality problems for Blasingame are over for now, she said she’s excited about the prospects of being a councilwoman.
“I love LaFayette, and I care about it and I want to see things move forward,” she said.
Blasingame said she lost to Hurst in 2016 by 30 votes because she remained involved in the process by attending almost every council meeting.
“Just because I lost, I didn’t bury my head in the sand,” she said.
After the 2016 election, Blasingame got involved in forming a committee for Handy Cemetery and got it listed in the Alabama Historical Registry. She said the committee is in the process of getting a historical marker.
Also, she was instrumental in putting up decorations throughout the city with donations from local businesses without any city funds.
Blasingame said she will have an open-door policy if elected and throughout the campaign season.
“My door is always open to discuss anything,” she said.
“That is the way it was when I ran (in 2016), and it will continue to be because I want to be the voice for the people in District B. I am very concerned that they have not had a voice since Councilman Hurst resigned.”
She said he was approached by residents in 2016 to run for council and was approached again for this opening. In August, Mayor Barry Moody recommended Blasingame for the vacant seat, but the council chose to hold an election.