Four to vie for District 45 seat in state House
by Will Heath
Jul 20, 2011 | 2053 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A total of four candidates have emerged for the special election that will fill Owen Drake’s seat in the Alabama House of Representatives.

A total of three Republicans and one Democrat qualified for the seat, which represents House District 45 (that includes Leeds). Two of the candidates are Leeds residents.

On the Republican side, Leeds resident Dickie Drake — the brother of the late representative, who died in late June after a battle with cancer — was among the first to qualify for the seat. Other Republicans to qualify include Irondale mayor Tommy Joe Alexander, and another Irondale resident, Michael Sumners, Jr., vice president of Richardson Construction.

“We are excited by the spirited competition we see shaping up,” said Bill Armistead, Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, “and we wish our candidates well. I am confident that we will have a clean race that focuses on the many issues facing our state today.

“I have no doubt that we’ll see a continuation of the Republican wave that swept through Alabama last November and that we will have two new Republican legislators promoting conservative values in Montgomery next spring.”

The Democrat to qualify is the other Leeds resident in the race: Paige Parnell, a former Miss Leeds Area and former Miss Alabama.

“Ms. Parnell is a great nominee for this district and we look forward to working with her to win this race,” said Richard Mauk, chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party. “She’s incredibly hard-working and will be a strong supporter of working families when she joins the ranks of our Democratic legislators.”

Party primaries are set for Tuesday, Aug. 30. If a runoff is necessary, that will take place Tuesday, Oct. 11, with the general election to take place Nov. 29. However, should the primaries be decided in August, the Oct. 11 election will be the general election.

Contact Will Heath at wheath@thestclairtimes.com.

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