By Barnett Wright
The Birmingham Times
The race for a seat on the Jefferson County Commission, once heavily pursued by Democrat and Republican candidates, will be relatively quiet this year. That’s in contrast to recent elections, including the last go-round in 2018, when a number of candidates vied for the offices.
Qualifying for the May 24 primary ended Friday and 4 of 5 incumbent Jefferson County commissioners face no opposition. Only Commissioner Sheila Tyson faces a primary qualifier, Steve Small, who was appointed to the commission in 2001 and lost a run for the seat in 2002; 2010 and 2014.
Democrat Commissioner Lashunda Scales in District 1; Republican Commissioners Jimmie Stephens in District 3; Joe Knight in District 4 and Steve Ammons in District 5 each qualified and have no opposition in the primary. The winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries on the Jefferson County Commission usually don’t have opponents in the general election, held Nov. 8 this year, because the districts are so overwhelmingly Democrat (1, 2) and Republican (3,4,5) that primaries determine the winners.
Scales and Ammons, elected in 2018 will likely begin their second terms in the fall while Commission President Stephens and Knight, first elected in 2010, with likely begin their fourth at that time. Tyson was also elected in 2018.
In the 2018 Democratic primary, Scales had four opponents including incumbent George Bowman; Tyson had three opponents including incumbent Sandra Little Brown. In the 2018 Republican primary, Stephens and Ammons had challengers and won easily. Knight had no primary opponent but faced a Democrat in the general election and was re-elected.