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Meet candidates in Tuesday’s 2018 Jefferson County/Alabama midterms


On Tuesday, November 6, voters nationwide go to the polls for the 2018 midterm elections. In Alabama, we will select a governor, choosing between Incumbent Republican Kay Ivey and current Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, a Democrat. Along with those races Jefferson County voters will elect a sheriff and district attorney along with officials in commission, judicial and other races. Here is a look at some of the hopefuls.



Maddox is a Tuscaloosa native and graduate of Central High School (1991). He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). In 1996, Maddox began his professional career as a Field Director with the Alabama Education Association. In 2001, he was appointed Executive Director of Personnel for the Tuscaloosa City Schools and in that year elected as City Councilman for the Sixth District. In 2005, Maddox was elected Mayor of Tuscaloosa. On May 22, 2017, he was sworn in for his fourth term as the 36th Mayor. During his 13 years as mayor, Maddox has been recognized for his crisis management after April 27, 2011, when an EF-4 tornado destroyed 12.5 percent of the city. In 2012, Maddox was named Municipal Leader of the Year by American City and County. He serves as a fellow with the Program on Crisis Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He won the Democratic primary election on June 5, 2018.


Facebook: WaltMaddoxAL


Ivey was sworn in as the 54th Governor of the State of Alabama on April 10, 2017. She grew up working on the family farm in Wilcox County and went on to attend Auburn University and become a school teacher. In 2002, she was elected Treasurer and cut spending. In 2010, she was elected Lieutenant Governor, becoming the first Republican woman to hold the office in Alabama’s history and became the first Republican re-elected to the office. She was Director of Government Affairs and Communication for the Alabama Commission on Higher Education from 1985 until 1998.  She has campaigned on shrinking government, saving taxpayers’ money, and creating good-paying jobs. As a former teacher she has focused Alabama’s schools on early childhood education, training middle and high school students in computer science, and job readiness training. Ivey serves on the Board of Directors of the Montgomery YMCA.


Facebook: KayIveyForGovernor



Siegelman is a lifelong Alabamian, born and raised in the state. Siegelman, son of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, attended the University of Alabama as an undergraduate and received his law degree from the UA School of Law. As an undergraduate he also completed part of his coursework at the London School of Economics and Political Science in London, England. Siegelman received his bachelor of science degree in Commerce and Business Administration, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Alabama’s Honors College and Business Honors Program. In law school, he twice represented the university as an advocate on its National Trial Team and was awarded the George Peach Taylor Award for his outstanding trial advocacy. As an active member of the Alabama State Bar and Managing Partner in The Cochran Firm’s Birmingham office, he has said he worked to achieve justice for those who deserve it.


Facebook: Siegelman2018


Marshall was sworn in as Alabama Attorney General in February of 2017, succeeding Luther Strange as the state’s chief Law enforcement officer. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with honors in 1987. Funding his legal education through academic scholarships and part-time jobs, Marshall graduated in the top 10 percent of his class from The University of Alabama School of Law. In August 2001, he was appointed District Attorney of Marshall County and was elected without opposition in 2004, 2010 and 2016. When he was sworn in at age 36, Marshall became the second youngest district attorney in Alabama. As DA, Marshall tried cases ranging from DUI’s to murder. He prosecuted police officers and attorneys for ethics violations as well as cop killers and those who prey on children and numerous violent crimes. As Attorney General, he has established a record on addressing state and federal issues that include protecting life and Second Amendment rights, ending sanctuary cities, fighting against federal overreach, advocating for victims’ rights and working to end violent crime, human trafficking and the opioid crisis plaguing communities.


Facebook: SteveMarshall.gop


The Jefferson County Sheriff is charged chiefly with preserving the peace by enforcing the laws of the state, executing orders of the courts and keeping a jail.


A Jefferson County sheriff detective sergeant, Pettway currently serves as a certified instructor at the Jefferson County Sheriff Apost Training Academy, where he teaches cyber-crime and ID theft. Pettway began his career in law enforcement in 1991 with the Birmingham Police Department, where he served as a correctional specialist. He joined the Fairfield Police Department in 1993 then the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in 1999. He served as Federal Screening Manager with TSA supervising check points at the Birmingham International Airport. In 2013 Pettway was promoted to detective sergeant where he investigated crimes of burglary, theft and fraud. Pettway received a bachelor’s of business administration degree from Faulkner University in 1991. He is a former member of the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association and Big Brother Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham. Pettway is also founder of Abundant Life Music Ministry, Inc.


Facebook: Pettway4Sheriff

MIKE HALE (R) (Incumbent)

Hale, a lifelong resident of Jefferson County, has been in law enforcement for 42 years, beginning at the Homewood Police Department in 1973 and transferred to the Sheriff’s Office in 1976. As a captain, he commanded every division of the Sheriff’s Office. Hale fought to strengthen and change state law to a felony crime when Convicted Sex Offenders violate the State Registry Laws giving Alabama the strongest law in the country in relation to convicted sex offenders. Hale created an Identity Theft Unit and Computer Forensics Unit both of which were the first of their kind in the region. In 1999, Hale created the Sheriff’s Office School Resource Division for County Schools to fight Domestic Terrorism. In 1982, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office entered a consent decree with the United States Department of Justice related to the hiring and promotion of African-Americans and females.  Almost 35 years later, in March of 2017, a federal judge released the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office from almost all of the provisions of that consent decree.  The judge determined that under Hale, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office’s hiring and promotional practices had been fair and that they did not discriminate against African-Americans or females.


Facebook: Re-Elect Mike Hale


The primary duty of the District Attorney’s Office is to prosecute all indictable offenses and to prosecute and defend any civil action in which the state is interested.


Jefferson County Chief Deputy District Attorney Carr served as interim DA last year until Gov. Kay Ivey appointed Mike Anderton to the position. Carr has been with the District Attorney’s Office for 15 years. Since he started with the office, he has handled thousands of cases. He has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Most Influential Males in Birmingham and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Birmingham. He has received the Community Policing Revitalization and Commitment to Excellence Award and the NAACP’s Outstanding African American Award in the area of law. Carr received a bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice from Alabama State University in 1996 and a law degree from Miles Law School in 2000. He serves on boards for the YMCA Western Area, Maranatha Academy, Children’s Village and Prescott House.


Facebook: votedannycarr


Anderton was appointed to his current position in 2017 by Gov. Kay Ivey to serve the remainder of the former term of DA Charles Todd Henderson who was removed from office. Anderton began as an assistant district attorney in Alexander City from 1982 to 1984. He then joined the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office in 1984. He served with the original 1991 Vertical Prosecution Unit, which addresses the special needs of families touched by homicides, child sexual abuse and physical abuse. In 1987 he became Division Chief with responsibility over Circuit, District and Family Courts. Anderton graduated from Auburn University then received his law degree from Cumberland School of Law in 1982. He is a member of VOCAL (Victims Of Crime And Leniency), the Alabama Bar and Birmingham Bar Associations, the National and Alabama District Attorneys Associations, and past Board President of the Alabama Center for Law and Civic Education. Anderton is a member of St. Francis Xavier Church, where he serves on the Church Rebuilding Committee.


Facebook: AndertonForDA


The Jefferson County Commission is a five-member group granted legislative and executive duties for Jefferson County. The commissioners, formerly elected at-large, are now elected by district to four year terms. Each commissioner, in addition to representing his or her district, is given charge of a department of the county for administration. The commission elects its own president, who chairs commission meetings.

Jefferson County Commission District 4 encompasses Gardendale, Morris, Kimberly, Warrior, County Line, Trafford, Pinson, Palmerdale, Clay, Grayson Valley, Trussville, and parts of Center Point, Irondale, Tarrant and Birmingham.

District 4


Smallwood is a lifelong resident of Jefferson County. He earned his bachelor of science degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), completed additional studies at Samford University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law in 1992. Smallwood was first to elected tax collector in November, 2002 and re-elected in 2008 and 2014. As tax collector he serves with an extensive background in law and business. He’s served as a law firm administrator and as a lecturer in Law and Ethics at the University of Alabama School of Law and has talked on other legal subjects at Alabama Association of Accountants, Alabama Investors Association and Birmingham Association of Realtors. He also formerly owned a church supply company and been involved in numerous charitable and civic activities.


Facebook: JtSmallwoodTaxCollector


Knight was first elected to the Jefferson County Commission in 2010. He is an attorney and the principal in The Law Offices of T. Joe Knight, LLC. He is the general counsel for the Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists. He holds several degrees and attended the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, The University of Southern Mississippi, The University of Alabama at Birmingham and The Birmingham School of Law. In his time on the commission Knight has helped procure $18 million in funding for all school districts in Jefferson County and was instrumental in re-opening the Center Point and Gardendale satellite courthouses. Knight worked with other commissioners to navigate bankruptcy and fix the Jefferson County financial crisis they inherited. He is a strong advocate for improving roads. Knight also participated in the recruitment of companies like Amazon, Publix and Autocar which is located in the Center Point/Pinson area. Knight believes great companies are successful because of great employees and that when great companies relocate to Jefferson County, citizens become great employees.

Facebook: JoeKnightForCommissioner


The Circuit Clerk is the chief administrative and fiscal officer for the court system and has a six-year term. Circuit Clerks must be available to perform their duties for the filing of court documents 24 hours a day. Fiscal responsibilities include the management of all court monies requiring banking and fiscal knowledge. Administrative responsibilities include personnel management, court planning, and purchasing and inventory control.


Anderson-Smith’s tenure on the county school board has spanned more than 30 years. She was first elected to the school board in 1986 and has been re-elected five times. She served as president in 1995 and 2016, the first black to hold the position. Anderson-Smith is currently director of Alamerica Bank and serves as community outreach representative for Birmingham City Council Hunter Williams. Anderson-Smith also served as legal assistant with Birmingham Legal Services and as health access director for Cooper Green Hospital. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), studied at Miles Law School and received five masters’ level certification through the Alabama Association of School Board Academy. Anderson-Smith is a member and past president of the Alabama School Board Association, the YMBC Civic Club, the Downtown Democrats Club, and the Committee to Save Jefferson County.



Brown, born in Detroit Michigan, and raised in Elba, Alabama, is the 10th of twelve children of the late Hayward and Jean Brown. He is a graduate of Elba high school and holds a bachelors of arts degree from Faulkner University. Brown is a lifelong Republican and became actively involved in the Alabama Republican Party in 2011. He has served as the chairman of the Alabama Minority GOP’s Birmingham chapter and was elected in 2012 as the state chairman of the ALMGOP and is now serving his third, two-year term of office. As state chairman for the Alabama Minority Republican Party Phillip also serves on the steering and executive committees of the Alabama Republican Party and the steering and executive committees of the Jefferson County Republican Party. In December of 2012 he was appointed by Governor Bentley to serve as a commissioner for the Alabama Crime Victim’s Compensation Commission and was reappointed by Governor Kay Ivey in 2017. He has recently received an appointment by Governor Kay Ivey in September of 2017 to the board of Alabama Board of Registered Interior Design. Phillip Brown has served the Jefferson County community as a Technical Education Teacher for the last 16 years.


Facebook: PhillipBrownJeffCo

Candidates for Alabama District Courts Jefferson County – Place 3


Cousins, is chief executive officer and managing attorney of Pamela Wilson Cousins, P.C., a firm she has run for 25 years. Cousins is a registered mediator with the Alabama State Court Mediator’s Roster. Cousins earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology at Tennessee State University in 1981, a master’s degree in Personnel Administration from Alabama Agriculture & Mechanical University in 1984 and her law degree from the Birmingham School of Law in 1990. She is founder of The Children’s Learning Club and a member of the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Silver Star) and Living Stones Temple Church. She volunteers with the Tarrant High School Dispute Alternative Program and Habitat for Humanity and serves on the Diversity Committee of the Birmingham Bar Association and the association’s Mentoring Program.




Lawley graduated from Hampden-Sydney College then went to work in Senator Howell Heflin’s Washington office. In 1989, Lawley graduated from Washington University School of Law. After passing both the Alabama and District of Columbia Bar exams, Lawley became a prosecutor in the Madison County District Attorney’s office, becoming within two years to chief prosecutor for the North Alabama Arson Task Force, prosecutor for the North Alabama Drug Task Force and Chief Prosecutor for the Juvenile Court. In 1992 Lawley returned to Birmingham as a private practice attorney specializing in criminal law, juvenile dependency and small business development. Lawley was appointed to the drug court by Governor Bob Riley in 2006. During his tenure on the drug court, Lawley slashed the docket from the largest in the state to the lowest in the region–while reducing recidivism rates and improving relations between attorneys and prosecutors. From 2010 to 2014 he served as an Alabama Assistant Attorney General, working out of the Birmingham office, specializing in child abuse and neglect cases.


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Candidates for Alabama District Courts Jefferson County – Place 11


District courts have jurisdiction over criminal misdemeanor offenses and the preliminary hearings held in felony prosecutions. District courts also have jurisdiction in civil matters where the amount in controversy exceeds $3,000, but does not exceed $10,000.


As a Birmingham police officer and a lawyer, Thrash said he has seen the law from different perspectives. He is sole practitioner in his law firm and specializes in criminal defense, personal injury, family and landlord-tenant law. He served as a Birmingham police narcotics detective and in Undercover Operations, among other assignments, and as a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Hueytown Firefighter and Medic. Thrash earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice from Lawson State Community College in 1994, a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2000 and a law degree from Miles Law School in 2006. He is a member of the Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, treasurer for the Miles Law School Alumni Association and a deacon at 21st Street Baptist Church.

Facebook: Thomas E. Thrash for District Court Judge, Place 11


Ganus has legal experience both on the bench and as a prosecutor having served as District Judge for Place 11 and 12 (Family Court) and Assistant District Attorney for Jefferson County and Tuscaloosa County. Ganus’s awards and memberships include Children’s Advocate Award, member of the Standing Committee on Juvenile Procedure, Bessemer Family Project Committee member, Child Care Resources board member, Local Child Death Review Team chairperson, Bessemer Child Advocacy Center board of directors, Bessemer Domestic Violence Task Force member, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children member, president of the Bessemer Junior Service League. Also, Alabama Multi-discipline Task Force on Sexual Assault, Advisory Board Member Girls Inc. Bessemer Camp, member of the Bessemer Bar Association, member of the Alabama State Bar Association, member of the Midfield School Superintendent Advisory Committee and Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama School of Law Externship Program.


Facebook: keepjudgeganus

Alabama Supreme Court

Candidates for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice


Vance has served Jefferson County as a Circuit Judge since 2002. A Birmingham native, Vance is the son of Robert Vance, who was a successful lawyer and federal appellate judge. Vance is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, and he first served the bench in 1985 as clerk to a federal judge in Houston, Texas. In 1986, he returned to Birmingham to join the law firm of Johnston Barton Proctor Swedlaw & Naff, where he focused his practice on a broad range of litigation, from commercial and class action defense to employment cases. In October 2002, Vance accepted an appointment to fill a vacant position as Jefferson County Circuit Judge. He was elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2010 and 2016 — each time without opposition.  The Birmingham Bar Association honored him with the Drayton James Award in 2004. Vance is a member of the Birmingham Kiwanis Club and the Cathedral Church of the Advent. He is married to Joyce Vance, a former U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.


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Parker was first elected to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2004 and re-elected in 2010. He previously was the Deputy Administrative Director of Courts, where he served as general counsel for the Alabama court system, advising trial court judges, and as director of the Alabama Judicial College, providing training for new judges and continuing legal education for all the trial judges in Alabama.  He also served as the Legal Adviser to the Chief Justice. Parker graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College and received his juris doctorate from Vanderbilt University School of Law.  Parker served in the Alabama Attorney General’s Office under then Alabama Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and Bill Pryor.  As an assistant attorney general, he handled death penalty cases, criminal appeals, and constitutional litigation.  He has extensive experience in writing appellate briefs and with oral arguments before the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals.  Parker is a Montgomery native who was elected student body president at Montgomery’s Sidney Lanier High School.


Facebook: JusticeTomParker

Candidates for Alabama 10th Judicial Circuit Place 8



The Tenth Judicial Circuit of the Alabama State Court system consists of the Birmingham and Bessemer Divisions. Circuit courts have general jurisdiction over all criminal matters involving felony prosecutions. Circuit courts may also exercise jurisdiction over legal matters filed in Alabama’s district and juvenile courts, and in matters where the amount in controversy exceeds $3,000. Circuit courts have exclusive jurisdiction over matters where the amount in controversy exceeds $10,000.




Hatcher, entering her first political race, has her own law practice and is an adjunct professor at Miles Law School.  Hatcher also served as legislative analyst with the Alabama Law Institute, associate counsel for the Birmingham Housing Authority and interim executive director for the Birmingham Housing Authority. Her memberships include the Alabama State Bar, the Birmingham Bar, Magic City Bar and American Bar Associations, Alabama Lawyers Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Omicron Omega Chapter. Hatcher graduated from Jackson-Olin High School and received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Jacksonville State University and a law degree from the Birmingham School of Law.



McDonald has been a resident of Jefferson County for more than 40 years. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama – Birmingham School of Nursing and immediately worked on behalf of children serving as a pediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse at Children’s of Alabama and in the Neonatal ICU at St Vincent’s Hospital. She then entered the legal profession following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. During her career, McDonald has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation. Through her handling of those cases, she has gained the respect of the legal community through her ethics, professionalism, advocacy on behalf of clients and her unwavering adherence to the Golden Rule – treat others as you would like to be treated. McDonald is a member of Church of the Highlands.


Facebook: votetraceymcdonald

Candidates for Alabama 10th Judicial Circuit Place 27


May manages his own law firm and has been practicing law for more than 20 years. He serves as an appointed Special Circuit Court Judge and District Court Judge; has served as a Judge Pro Tem for the City of Birmingham as a full-time Interim Judge for Birmingham and a Judge Pro Tem for the cities of Adamsville and Homewood. May received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in 1992 and a law degree from the University of Florida in 1995. May is a member of the Georgia Bar, Alabama Bar, National Bar and the Birmingham Bar Associations and also served on the Alabama Democratic Executive Committee.



Facebook: campaigntoelectalaricmay


Moore was born and raised in Jefferson County and graduated from Midfield High School in 1988.  She started undergraduate work at University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1994 after working various jobs to save money for school. In 1997 she graduated from UAB, with honors and a degree in psychology. She graduated law school at the University of Alabama in 2000. From the summer of 1998 until the fall of 2000, she served as law clerk in the Bessemer District Attorney’s Office. From there she would go on to spend 17 years in that office trying all manner of cases, specializing in child physical and sexual abuse and child death cases.


Facebook: Leslie Schiffman Moore

Candidates for Alabama 10th Judicial Circuit Place 16


Hall has been in private practice since 1998 and has handled bankruptcy, civil, criminal and domestic relations cases. She studied at Faulkner University then received her Bachelor’s degree at University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1983. She received her law degree from the Birmingham School of Law in 1992. Hall has served on the Birmingham Bar Association’s Civil and Domestic Program and as legal counsel for the Committee to Protect the Homeless. She is a former member of the Homewood Rotary Club and Vulcan Kiwanis and board member of the Epilepsy Foundation.


Pulliam is a Circuit Court Judge in the Criminal Division of the 10th Judicial Circuit for the State of Alabama.  She grew up in Huntsville, and is a 1980 magna cum laude graduate of Birmingham Southern College and the University of Alabama School Of Law in 1983 and began her legal career as a prosecutor in the Mobile District Attorney’s Office, moving to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office in 1986.  Before appointment to the Circuit Court bench in 2005 by Governor Riley, she had her own private law practice for 14 years.  She was elected in 2006 and was reelected to the bench in 2012, unopposed. She serves as President Elect of the Alabama Circuit Judges Association and President of the Birmingham Bar Foundation.  She currently serves as one of the two circuit judges statewide, appointed by the Chief Justice, working on the State’s Prison Reform Task Force.  She is a recipient of the NAACP’s Justice Award.


Facebook: reelectjudgepulliam