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Names Mentioned as Candidates After Incumbent Jefferson County Treasurer Deemed Ineligible to Run

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The Birmingham Times

Former Jefferson County Treasurer Mike Miles; Angela Weinberg, Jefferson County Employee; Johnathan Austin, former Birmingham City Council President and John Hilliard, former Birmingham City Councilor are names being discussed as the next treasurer in Jefferson County, according to some members of the Democratic Party.

On Monday, the only two candidates for treasurer in Alabama’s largest county were ruled ineligible to appear on the March 5 primary ballot.

Eyrika Parker, the incumbent, and Mara Ruffin Allen both missed the deadline to file ethics forms and were denied appeals Monday to remain on the ballot in rulings issued today by state court judges.

Since neither candidate is allowed to remain on the ballot, the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee will have to name one and already a number of names are being discussed including Miles, who served in the office from 2012 to 2020. He failed to advance to a runoff between Parker and Rod Scott in the 2020 Democratic primary to retain his office and Parker went on to win the nomination and was unopposed in the general election.

Because there are no Republicans seeking the position, the Democratic candidate is essentially guaranteed to win the position.

However, neither Parker nor Ruffin was ready to concede, according to AL.com.

“Frankly speaking we are considering our options and this is not the end,” said Calvin Biggers, an attorney for Parker, in an interview with AL.com on Monday. “We are not foreclosing on any options to keep her on the ballot.”

“We are weighing the options that we have,” said Allen’s lawyer, Jacquese Antoinette Gary, ”We intend for her to be on the ballot and for her to become the next Jefferson County treasurer.”

Late last month, both candidates were declared ineligible to run in the Democratic primary because she failed to turn in a form to the State Ethics Commission by the qualifying deadline. The form, called a statement of economic interest, includes information about a candidate or public official’s income, assets and other financial interests.

During a hearing last week, Montgomery County Judge James Anderson said that he would not rule in Parker’s favor unless she could show that she had at least attempted to access the online system to file her form ahead of the deadline.

In his order today, Anderson said Parker did not have enough evidence.

“The court has considered the pleadings, testimony, documents, including affidavits, and finds the plaintiff has failed to show she has at least a reasonable chance of success on the merits of her case,” Anderson wrote this afternoon in his two paragraph order denying Parker’s request.

During a separate hearing last week, Gary noted that her client did log into the online system and received confirmation for doing so ahead of the deadline. But Allen had not fully completed the form. Once she realized that had not completed the form, she returned to submit it, her lawyer said in court.

“We believe the people of Jefferson County should have a right to determine who sits in that seat,” Gary told Montgomery County Judge Brooke Reid during the hearing. “Instead of allowing this technical issue to affect that, she should be allowed to have her name on the ballot.”

Still those arguments were not enough to convince Reid this afternoon.

“While the Plaintiff makes a compelling argument, with respect to her motion for temporary restraining order, she must establish that without the injunction, she would suffer immediate and irreparable harm,” Reid wrote in her order.

AL.com contributed to this post