Tuesday run-off to include District 3 Commission race
by Daniel Gaddy
Apr 23, 2012 | 1766 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Some residents of southern Walker County will have the chance to vote for the Republican candidate for District 3 commissioner in Tuesday’s run-off election. District 3 includes Cordova, Parrish and Oakman.

The day after the March 13 primaries, the Eagle mistakenly reported that Bobby Nunnelley beat fellow Republicans Josh Madison and Paul Ratliff.

Nunnelley received 847 votes or 50 percent of the total votes cast in the District 3 Republican primary. However, he was approximately 17 votes short of preventing a mandatory run-off election.

In Tuesday’s run-off, Nunnelley will face Madison, who received 27 percent of the total vote during the March 13 primary. Ratliff, who originally garnered 23 percent of the vote, will not be on the upcoming ballot.

Though the county commission race will only be on the ballot for District 3 residents, all registered voters in the county will have the chance to vote for the Republican candidate for Public Service Commission president.

That election features current PSC commissioner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and Mobile businessman Chip Brown. The winner will go on to face current PSC President Lucy Baxley, the only Democrat holding a statewide office at the moment.

The Alabama Public Service Commission is charged with regulating Alabama Power and any utility in which residents don’t have a choice for service. However, the agency does not regulate the Birmingham Water Works Board.

The commission is not funded by money from the state’s general fund but rather by fines and taxes levied on the industries they regulate.

Secretary of State Beth Chapman recently told the Associated Press that she expects turnout for the runoff will be between 2 percent to 4 percent of the state’s active registered voters — or fewer than 106,000 people. The office of Public Service Commission president is the only statewide race on the ballot.

Both Nunnelley and Madison said they were concerned about the low turnout expected on Tuesday.

“I think it’s going to be tough,” Madison said. “I’m definitely a little nervous.”

Madison said his ideas for the office include attracting businesses and reducing the commission’s debt, which he said will take a minimum of a decade to pay off.

Madison, who has a background in information technology, said he also wants to improve the county’s website — making the commission’s minutes and financial statements available online.

“They (county residents) will know where their money is going,” he said.

Nunnelley said his focus as commissioner will be to attract industry to the area.

“And I think Cordova is a prime start for that,” he said, referring to the city’s proximity to future Interstate 22 and the Black Warrior River.

Nunnelley also said he knows the deterioration of the county’s roads is a major concern for residents, and he will work to get the most repairs from the county’s limited maintenance funds.

The winner of Tuesday’s run-off will face Democrat George Fitzpatrick Jr. in the November election.