By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Ten individuals will seek election to four county posts held by incumbents who are being challenged in the May 24 Republican Primary. Up for grabs are a county commission seat, two county school board positions and the office of the county’s top law enforcement officer.
Sherry Digmon was selected in September by the remaining Escambia County Board of Education members to fill the vacancy left by the death of District 6 representative David Nolin. Digmon, a newspaper publisher who previously served six years on the school board, will face opposition from Escambia Academy coach Michael Bowen as she seeks to reclaim a permanent seat.
Sheriff Heath Jackson, elected in 2018 as the county’s first new sheriff since 2003, is seeking a second term. He will face opposition from Shaun Golden, assistant chief of the Georgiana Police Department.
The other two county races are three-person contests. If no candidate earns 50 percent, plus one of the votes in either primary race, a runoff election will be held June 21.
District 4 BOE member Cindy Jackson, who is currently serving her second term on the school board, will face former Rachel Patterson Elementary School Principal John Brantley, and Racheal Fore Wagner, a former nurse and co-owner of RaBo’s Sweets & Trading Post in Flomaton.
Scottie Stewart, who was elected to the District 3 seat on the Escambia County Commission in 2016, qualified for re-election. He will be opposed by the man he replaced, Larry White, who served 24 years on the county’s governing body and is past president of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, and by Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Billy Blair, a political newcomer.
Three other local GOP officer-holders — District 1 County Commissioner Steven Dickey, District Attorney Steve Billy and Circuit Judge Todd Stearns — qualified for re-election without opposition. None of them face Democratic opposition in November’s General Election.
Voters across the county — along with those in parts of Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Mobile, Monroe and Washington counties — will help decide whether incumbent District 22 Alabama State Sen. Greg Albritton, who lives in Atmore, will serve a third term. Albritton faces opposition from Stephen Sexton, a farmer and former teacher.
District 66 State Rep. Alan Baker, a Republican who was first elected in 2006, faces no primary opposition for his seat, and no Democrat qualified to challenge him in November. District 66 includes most of Escambia and Baldwin counties.
The only local Democratic office-holder to qualify for re-election is District 5 County Commissioner Karean Reynolds. Reynolds is unopposed in the Democratic Primary, which will also be held May 24, as he looks to retain his commission seat. No Republican qualified to run against him in November.