Voters oppose home rule ballot measure

Republicans lead in Baldwin races

By Guy Busby
Government Editor
guy@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 11/11/22

BAY MINETTE – Baldwin County voters continued their support for Republican candidates, but rejected a proposal for more home rule for the County Commission by a margin of almost 3-1, according …

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Voters oppose home rule ballot measure

Republicans lead in Baldwin races

A voter exits the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center, a Gulf Shores voting precinct, on Tuesday afternoon.
A voter exits the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center, a Gulf Shores voting precinct, on Tuesday afternoon.
MICAH GREEN / GULF COAST MEDIA
Posted

BAY MINETTE – Baldwin County voters continued their support for Republican candidates, but rejected a proposal for more home rule for the County Commission by a margin of almost 3-1, according to unofficial returns.

Voters in unincorporated areas of Baldwin County were asked to cast ballots to decide if the County Commission could exercise more home-rule powers granted to come counties under the Alabama Limited Self Government Act.

With 53 of 54 precincts reporting, 18,592 votes had been cast against the proposal, 72.2%, to 7,157 yes votes.

At press time, only absentee ballots remained to be counted, according to county officials.

Voter turnout was about 44.6% with 73,035 ballots cast and 163,674 residents on the active voters list for Baldwin County, according to county officials.

In the one contested County Commission race, incumbent Commissioner Charles “Skip” Gruber, a Republican led his in District 4 with 58,880 votes, 82.15%, to 12,687 for his Democrat Alec Barnett Jr.

In the race for House District 95, Republican nominee Frances Holk Jones had 14,120 votes, Democrat Richard Brackner had 2,439, with 16 of 17 precincts reporting. The winner will replace Rep. Steve McMillan who held the seat since 1980. McMillan died in April after announcing that he would not run for another term representing the south Baldwin District.

In District 94, Republican Jennifer Fidler had 14,115 votes, while Libertarian Margaret “Maggie” Helveston had 1,808 with 16 of 17 precincts reporting.

Joe Faust has represented district since 2002, Fidler defeated Faust in the Republican primary for the seat serving the Fairhope area.

In House District 64, which includes much of Central Baldwin County, Republican Donna Givens had 10,942 votes to 1,121 for Libertarian Jeff May. The seat had been held by Rep. Harry Shiver since 2006. Shiver did not run for re-election.

Representatives in two other Baldwin County House seats, Matt Simpson in District 96 and Alan Baker in District 66, do not have general election opposition in their bids for re-election.

In Baldwin County, the two state Senate seats that current represent Baldwin County also have incumbents who do not face opposition. Sen. Greg Albritton in District 22 and Sen. Chris Elliott in District 32 will return to office.

The Spanish Fort area will have a new state senator. When legislative districts were redrawn following the 2020 census, Spanish Fort was moved from District 32 to Senate District 33. In Baldwin County votes in District 33, incumbent Democrat Vivian Davis Figures had 868 votes to 3,670 for Republican challenger Pete Riehm with three of five Baldwin precincts reporting.

Most of District 33 is in Mobile County. Figures won most of the votes in Mobile County to be re-elected with about 74% of the total vote for the district, according to election reports.

Most Baldwin County voters supported a state constitutional amendment to ratify removing racist language from the Alabama Constitution. The vote on the amendment was 41,869 in favor to 17,140 opposed to the measure.

All 10 amendments to the Alabama Constitution were approved by Baldwin County voters and were passed in statewide voting.

In Baldwin County Commission races, incumbents Jeb Ball and Billie Jo Underwood did not face general election challenges in their bids for re-election representing District 1 and District 3 respectively.

In District 2, Matt McKenzie won the Republican nomination to replace retiring Commissioner Joe Davis. After Davis retired from the commission at the end of July, McKenzie was named to fill the remaining portion of his term. Davis faced no general election opposition and will take office for a full term later this month.

Two new members of the Baldwin County Board of Education did not face opposition on the general election ballot. Republican April Bradley is unopposed in her bid for the District 7 seat now held by Shannon Cauley. Republican Rondi Kirby is unopposed in her race for the District 4 seat now held by Janay Dawson.

Board of Education members serve six-year terms. Every two years, two or three of the seven seats come up for election.

Several Baldwin County races on the ballots had incumbent candidates without general election opposition.

Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack, who has served since 2006, will return for fifth term.

District Attorney Robert Wilters, Circuit Judge Scott Taylor and Coroner Brian Pierce will also return to office without general election opposition.

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