Qualifying for the 2022 primary’s complete

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2022

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LaFayette — There will be a contested sheriff’s race in Chambers County in 2022, but most of the incumbents who hold county offices are seeking re-election without opposition.

The qualifying period for those who want to seek office under the Democrat or Republican Party banners ended this past Friday for the May 24 party primaries.

Running for sheriff as Republicans are Richard Carter and Jeff Nelson. Jeff Blackstone has qualified for the office as a Democrat.

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Veteran Sheriff Sid Lockhart is not seeking re-election this year after 24 years as the county’s chief law enforcement officer. His predecessor, the late James C. Morgan, had held the office since first being elected in 1966. It’s extremely rare for one county to have had only two sheriffs for a 56-year period.

Carter has been the sheriff’s office’s chief deputy for a number of years. Nelson has been an Alabama State Trooper for a number of years and is highly regarded in law enforcement circles. Blackstone has also been involved in local law enforcement. His son, Kyle Blackstone, is a deputy with the CCSO.

Three incumbent county commissioners, Commission Chair Debra Riley and Commissioners James “Moto” Williams and David Eastridge have qualified for new four-year terms without opposition. Riley represents District 6, Williams District 3 and Eastridge District 5.

Bill Martin, the long-time president of the Chambers County School Board, is not seeking re-election this year. Jennifer Hunt is the lone candidate to have qualified for the District 6 seat Martin has held for many years. Vickie Leak has qualified without opposition for the District 5 school board seat.

Incumbent Coroner Jeff Jones has qualified for another term. He’s a Democrat and has no opposition.

State Senator Randy Price is completing his first term in the Alabama Senate this year. He will face a primary challenge from the Rev. John Allen Coker. Coker lives in the Cusseta area and is the pastor of the Northside Baptist Church in Opelika.

State Rep. Debbie Wood, who represents District 38, will face a challenge from Micah Messer of Smiths Station.

Four years ago, she had to win races in both the party primary and the general election to represent District 38 in the Alabama House. She defeated Todd Rauch in the GOP primary and Democrat Brian McGee in the November election.

Ballots and supplies for absentee voting in the party primaries will arrive in late March.

Absentee voting will begin on March 31.