The Political Round-Up
With foe possible, judge marshals forces;
Meredith endorses Sessions
By Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times
With rumblings of a possible challenger in elections next year, Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis has moved quickly to fortify his political position.
Davis has engaged Strategy Inc. to consult with his campaign. Although he cannot begin fundraising until June, Davis has formed an extensive preliminary campaign committee whose members include:
- Alan Alexander, Andy Smith, Austin Mulherin, B. J. Lyon, Barney March, Ben Brooks, Bob Galloway;
- Bobby Frost, Braxton Counts, Carroll Blow, Carroll Sullivan, Chad Brown, Charles Dodson, Charlie Fleming;
- Chuck Miller, Claude Boone, Cooper Thurber, Danny Blackburn, David Brady, David Broome;
- David Greene, Denise Littleton, Donna Ames, Doug Anderson, Doug Brown, Duane Graham, Frank Kruse;
- Goodman Ledyard, Greg Carwie, Greg Watts, Harry Satterwhite, Harwell Coale, Ian Gaston;
- Irving Silver, James Brandyburg, Jay Ross, Jay Watkins, Jean Powers, Jeff Luther, Beth Lyons;
- Jerome Carter, Jerome Speegle, Jim Green, Jimmy Duffy, Jon Green, Judge McGowin, Judson Wells;
- Leslie Fields, Mack Binion, Mark Erwin, Marshall Gardner, Matt McDonald, Maury Friedlander;
- Michael Holberg, Michael Knight, Michael Murphy, Mike Druhan, Pamela Millsaps, Paul Wesch;
- Pete Mackey, Randy Crane, Richard Wilkins, Robert B. Doyle, III, Sandy Gresham Robinson;
- Steve Crawford, Steve Martino, Steve Nicholas, Stuart Luckie, Teddy McDermott;
- Tim Kaufman, Vic Lott, Warren Butler, Wesley Pipes, Y. D. Lott.
A Republican, Davis was elected probate judge in 2000 and re-elected in 2006.
Attorney Wesley Blacksher said recently that he has been encouraged to run for the post and has it under consideration, though he had no time table for coming to a decision.
Davis said he was "flattered by the number of lawyers and law firms" that are rallying behind him. Although he takes all potential challenges seriously, Davis said he was not "running scared of anything."
"All the feedback that I've gotten from all different quarters of the legal community, the bar association members, people involved in the election process, people in the real estate community as well as the general public, everyone has expressed to me that they think the court is running well in all regards," said Davis.
With almost 12 years in office, Davis said he was comfortable asking voters for a third term in office.
"I've got a good track record, a standard of good performance and if it is necessary they (the electorate) can gauge my performance, how the court is doing under my leadership and decide whether I should be given the opportunity to lead the court for another term," said Davis.
The judge has been embroiled in an extended disagreement with the local mental health community over what it perceives as draconian court strictures.
The Republican primary is scheduled June 5, 2012, although the state Legislature is considering a proposal to move party primaries up to March in presidential election years.
Meredith endorses Sessions
Former Mobile County School board president and unsuccessful candidate for House District 105, Bill Meredith, has announced his endorsement of David Sessions, the GOP nominee in the May 10 special election to fill the south Mobile County legislative slot.
Sesssions, a Grand Bay farmer who bested Meredith and Mike Burdine to win the Republican primary, will face Constitution Party candidate Bill Atkinson in the general election.
“After months of campaigning together, I’ve had the opportunity to know David and appreciate his support for this community,” said Meredith. “Having debated him several times, I know that he is a conservative and I believe he will be the best representative for our district. I’m voting David Sessions for representative of House District 105.”
Burdine has declined to officially endorse either candidate in the May 10 election but disclosed that he plans to vote for Atkinson. Burdine chided Sessions regularly during the primary campaign for Sessions' lack of Republican credentials, specifically his support for Democratic nominees for governor and agriculture commissioner, Ron Sparks and Glenn Zorn, respectively.
“I am honored by Mr. Meredith’s support,” said Sessions from his farm in Grand Bay. “Having campaigned against each other for this responsibility I am honored to know that our respect for each other is mutual.”
The Democratic Party fielded no candidate.
Sessions said his general election campaign is little different from his GOP campaign, that the issues remain the same -- improved local schools, insurance reform, better jobs and opposition to tax increases.
Meredith said he was confident that Sessions understood "the severity of the coastal insurance crisis and I am confident that he will fight alongside Ben Brooks and others for insurance reform."
"I believe David will do a great job for our district and that is why I encourage everyone to vote Sessions on May 10,” Meredith concluded.
Blessing of the Fleet
Bayou La Batre’s 62nd Annual Blessing of the Fleet will be held at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Bayou La Batre Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Given the hardships of recent years, organizers have set their sights on making this a comeback year filled with fun for the whole family. Numerous events and ongoing activities are scheduled throughout the day, including an arts and crafts festival, a gumbo cook‐off, an antique car exhibition, live music, fresh Gulf seafood dinners, bayou boat tours, a land parade, and -‐ of course -‐ the formal blessing of the fleet which will be conducted by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile.
With numerous features and expanded activities, the Fleet Blessing will have free parking and shuttle service to and from the church grounds as well as free admission. Tickets will be sold on the grounds for participation in the boat tours, gumbo cook off and other activities.
“We were hit hard by the oil spill in the gulf last year, yet our Fleet Blessing continues to get bigger and better,” said Father Nguyen, pastor of St. Margaret’s.
“Our spirit is high and with God’s blessing we will recover and get back on our feet.”
Arts & Crafts Festival • Gumbo Cook‐Off • Antique Car Exhibit • Fresh Gulf Seafood Dinners • Live music • Children’s Activities • Bayou Boat Tours • Boat Parade • Land Parade • Fleet Blessing.
Music: Kim Carson Band • FISHERGREEN • Rickie Castrillo & Friends • The Joe Cain Band • Dave Streiffer Band • Deja Blues
St. Margaret’s Catholic Church is located at 13790 S. Wintzell Ave. in Bayou La Batre. Admission is free but tickets will be sold for the gumbo cook off, fresh Gulf seafood dinners and Bayou boat tours.
14th Annual State of City & County Luncheon
The 14 Annual State of the City and County Luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4 from 12 noon to 1:30 at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center, 1 S. Water St.
Mobile County Commission President Merceria Ludgood and Mobile Mayor Sam Jones will highlight the program with updates on city and county government doings.
The cost is $20 for Chamber Members; $30, Potential Members; $190, Table of 10. All prices include lunch. For more information call the Mobile Chamber of Commerce at 431-8606.