By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Less than a week remains before Atmore voters join the state electorate in deciding who will square off in November for the U.S. presidency, seats in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and a slew of statewide offices.
On March 3, or Super Tuesday, voters will take part in Republican and Democratic party primaries that will eliminate a ton of candidates and send several on to the General Election in November.
Thirty-five individuals will seek one of seven positions on the Democratic ballot, including 14 who are vying to become the country’s next Commander in Chief. There are 25 Republicans looking to fill one of eight open offices, including seven who want to go head-to-head with incumbent U.S. Senator Doug Jones, a Democrat, in November.
One of the most significant items that will appear on ballots statewide is whether or not the Alabama Constitution should be amended to change the way the state’s educational governing body is structured.
Passage of the amendment, which is listed at the end of the ballot, would do away with the elected state school board and replace it with a commission whose members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate.
The new panel would be responsible for adopting and ensuring implementation of “course of study standards that ensure nationwide consistency and the seamless transfer of students from within and outside of the state, in lieu of Common Core.”
Now to the political races:
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Incumbent chief executive Donald Trump will face only one challenger — Bill Weld — in the GOP primary. On the Democratic ticket will be Michael Bennett, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John K. Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Styles, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.
Jones will be unopposed on the Democratic side, but a star-studded field of seven Republicans is fighting for the right to give him a run for the seat in November.
GOP voters will choose between Stanley Adair, current Alabama 1st District Congressman Bradley Byrne, Arnold Mooney, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Ruth Page Nelson, former senator and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville.
Byrne’s entry into the Senate race left his position as 1st District Representative wide open. Five Republicans are vying to be their party’s representative in November, while eight Democrats will compete to see who is on that party’s November ticket.
Democratic candidates are James Averhart, Rick Collins, Kiani A. Gardner, Phyllis Harvey Hall, Nathan Mathis, Adia Winfrey, Rick Neighbors and Terri A. Sewell.
Republicans will choose between Jerry Carl, John Castorani, Bill Hightower, Wes Lambert and Chris Pringle.
ALA. SUPREME COURT
Republicans Greg Shaw and Cam Ward will be seeking the Associate Justice, Place 1 seat on the state’s highest court. There are no Democratic candidates, so the GOP primary winner will become an associate justice.
The Place 2 seat on the state supreme court is also up for grabs. Either Phillip Bahakel or Matt Friday will win the primary and advance, unopposed, to the General Election.
CRIMINAL APPEALS COURT
Republicans Melvin Hasting and Mary Windom are the GOP candidates for the Place 1 judgeship on the state’s criminal appeals court. There are no candidates for the seat on the Democratic side.
A trio of Republicans — Jill Ganus, Beth Killum and Will Smith — are vying to become the Place 2 judge on the criminal appeals court. There will be no Democratic opposition in November.
PRESIDENT, ALA. PSC
Incumbent Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh will be opposed by Robin Litaker in the Republican primary for the presidency of the state’s public service commission. Likewise, two Democrats — Laura Casey and Robert L. Mardis III — will square off for their party’s November nod.
Democrat Tom Holmes is the only candidate of either party for the Place 1 seat on the state school board, while Jarralynne Agee, also a Democrat, is the sole candidate from either party seeking the Place 3 seat.
The Place 5 seat is a different story as eight individuals, all Democrats, have qualified to run for the position. The candidates are Fred Bell, Tonya Smith Chestnut, Ron Davis, Pamela J. Laffitte, Patrice “Penni” McClammy, Woodie E. Pugh Jr., Joanne Shum and Billie Jean Young.
All Escambia County voters will cast ballots at their usual polling places, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.