GOP qualifying begins for 2014 primary election
by Ron Harris
Jan 28, 2014 | 1999 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Steve Miller, at right, signs the paperwork necessary to qualify as a Republican candidate for Walker County sheriff in the upcoming election. At left is Keith Davis, chairman of the Walker County Republican Party, and party official Bruce Bennett. Republican qualifying ends Friday, Feb. 7. – Photo by: Ron Harris.
Steve Miller, at right, signs the paperwork necessary to qualify as a Republican candidate for Walker County sheriff in the upcoming election. At left is Keith Davis, chairman of the Walker County Republican Party, and party official Bruce Bennett. Republican qualifying ends Friday, Feb. 7. – Photo by: Ron Harris.
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Four people qualified to run for office in the upcoming election on the first day of qualifying for the local Republican Party.

Qualifying began Monday and will end at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7.

Candidates wishing to qualify can contact Linda Ensor at 205-221-2026 or 205-302-2487, Bruce Bennett at 205-387-1217 or 205-275-4968, or Walker County Republican Party chairman Keith Davis at 205-275-9501.

“From what we can tell initially, we will have several races that will be crowded, the sheriff’s race being one of those,” Davis said Monday. “The coroner’s race has drawn a lot of attention, too, and there could be four to five candidates in that race.”

Davis said party officials are expecting at least six people to qualify to run for sheriff, and two to three to seek the coroner’s post.

On Monday, Steve Miller and J.C. Poe qualified to run for Walker County Sheriff in the Republican primary.

Miller, who is president and CEO of Miller Roofing in Jasper, is a Curry High graduate and attended the Jefferson State Law Enforcement Academy in 1993.

“Back when I was going to the Police Academy, honestly the reason that I was going was to serve the people of the county, but it was also to prepare for the day that I would run,” Miller said in an ad that ran in Sunday’s Eagle. “I knew back then that I wanted to run, and I believe this is the right time for me to serve in this capacity. I believe that we are all here for a reason, and I want to give back. The county has been good to us.”

Miller said if elected, he would serve without pay for the first year. “I will serve my first year as Walker County sheriff without any pay so that pay can be used toward purchasing much-needed equipment for the department personnel,” he said.

Poe, who currently serves as Walker County coroner, graduated from Curry High School, attended Walker College and Bevill State Community College and graduated from the University of Alabama Police Academy in 1978. He spent seven years with Jasper Police Department before being hired as an investigator with the Walker County Sheriff ’s Office in 1983.

After eight years as an investigator, he became the director of the Walker County Narcotic’s Enforcement Team for four years in the early 1990s. In 1995, Poe was appointed as chief deputy for the sheriff’s office. Poe retired from the sheriff’s office as chief deputy in 2002 after 25 years of service.

In the race for Walker County Revenue Commissioner, incumbent Jerry Guthrie filed papers Monday to seek re-election.

Mark Pendley filed qualifying papers to run for Walker County Coroner, the office being vacated by Poe.

Other races that will be on the ballot include Walker County Schools Superintendent, chairman of the Walker County Board of Education and Walker County District Judge.

“It looks like we will have some races that won’t draw any Republican opposition,” Davis said, “and some even look like they may not have Democratic opposition.”

At the state level, Richard Baughn and Bill Roberts have filed qualifying papers to seek re-election to the Alabama House of Representatives. Baughn represents District 14, while Roberts represents District 13.

Greg Reed has also qualified to seek re-election to the District 5 seat in the Alabama Senate.