By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Escambia County Board of Education members Cindy Jackson (District 4) and Sherry Digmon (District 6) handily won their respective May 24 Republican Primary races and retained their seats, but County Commission District 3 voters still have to decide whether the incumbent, or the man he replaced four years ago, will represent the district.
According to data furnished by Chief Clerk Natalie Rogers with Probate Judge Doug Agerton’s office, less than 20 percent (19.4) of the county’s eligible voters turned out to cast ballots. Of 26,473 who were eligible to vote in the Republican and Democratic primaries, only 5,140 (4,365 Republican, 770 Democrat) bothered to vote.
Jackson earned her third six-year term on the school board by winning a three-person race without a runoff. The incumbent, who was the top vote-getter at each of nine polling places and drew the most absentee votes, was named on 58 percent of the district-wide ballots. Former Rachel Patterson Elementary School Principal John Brantley was second with 259 votes (22 percent) and Flomaton businesswoman Racheal Fore Wagner got 232 votes (20 percent).
Digmon followed suit in the District 6 contest, coming away the winner at all nine district polling sites and claiming a 10-6 advantage in absentee balloting. Digmon, who served a previous term on the school board, was the district’s interim representative. She will enjoy a six-year term in the seat after earning a 77-percent slice of the vote over challenger Michael Bowens (552-162).
In the District 3 County Commission race, incumbent Scottie Stewart received 597 votes (39 percent) to edge former commissioner Larry White, who served six terms on the county’s governing body before losing his seat to Stewart, by 40 votes.
Stewart and White will face each other in a runoff on June 21. Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Billy Blair drew 371 votes, and those voters could ultimately decide who will get the seat.
In district-wide GOP voting, which includes all of Escambia and Washington counties, most of Baldwin County and four Mobile County communities, District 22 State Senator Greg Albritton of Atmore won by a 2-1 margin over retired U.S. Army chaplain Stephen Sexton. The final tally was 12,331 to 6,315. In Escambia, Albritton won by a margin of almost 4 to 1 (3,234 to 872).
In the GOP Primary governor’s race, incumbent Kay Ivey earned 356,349 votes statewide (54 percent) and won a nine-candidate race without a runoff. Escambia County also went for the incumbent, who got 2,813 local votes.
On the Democratic side, Yolanda Flowers received 56,853 votes across the state to win the party’s nomination for governor. Atmore resident Patricia Salter Jamieson, who won the local vote, was named on 19,665 ballots and finished a surprising third in the six-candidate contest.
Alabama Attorney General and Atmore native Steve Marshall easily won re-election, grabbing 89.8 percent of the statewide vote. That total echoed Marshall’s performance in Escambia County, where he took 90 percent of the vote.
Among the other statewide Republican voting, Katie Britt drew 288,762 votes to finish first in the U.S. Senate race but will face Mo Brooks (188,126 votes) in a runoff June 21. Will Boyd easily won the Democratic nomination, garnering 64 percent of the vote.
Jim Zeigler and Wes Allen will also square off on June 21 after Ziegler pulled 43 percent of the GOP vote in the Alabama Secretary of State race, and Allen got 40 percent.
The ballot’s Constitutional amendment — to allow a bond issue of $85 million for upgrades and maintenance on state parks and historic sites, and for purchases of land for new parks — was approved by 77 percent of the state’s voters (600,704).