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How Majority of Jefferson County Commission Likely Just Got Re-Elected

Jefferson County Commissioners, from left, Sheila Tyson, Jimmie Stephens, Joe Knight, Lashunda Scales and Steve Ammons. (Jefferson County Public Information Office)

By Barnett Wright

The Birmingham Times

Qualifying for the May 24 primary elections ended Friday and 4 of 5 incumbent Jefferson County commissioners face no opposition. Only Commissioner Sheila Tyson in District 2 faces a primary qualifier, Steve Small, who was appointed to the commission in 2001 and ran unsuccessfully 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. That all but insures they will return to office because 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.

The districts are so overwhelmingly Democrat (1, 2) and Republican (3,4,5) that whoever wins their May party primary will win in the November general election.

That means 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.

The Jefferson County Commission elections aren’t usually this quiet. During the last go-round four years ago a number of candidates vied for the offices.

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.