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The Political Round-Up

An Election Day hodge-podge

By Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times
An Election Day hodge-podge.

Baldwin County Circuit Judge Charles Partin Tuesday morning deferred action on the request of recently resigned Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine for a reduction in his $500,000 bond on a murder charge, pending a hearing in federal court on a gun charge.

Since Nodine "... will be transferred to federal custody, and the federal authorities will conduct a detention hearing with respect to the federal gun charge," Partin ruled, "The Court takes the motion under submission and will make a ruling after the
federal detention hearing."

Nodine, 46, has been charged with murder in the May 9 shooting death of his longtime paramour Angel Downs, 45, outside her Fort Morgan Road townhouse in Gulf Shores.

Nodine also faces state drug charges stemming from an investigation after marijuana and prescription pain killers were discovered in his county truck by mechanics at the county garage just before Christmas last year. According to reports, Nodine's use of Lortabs exceeded the daily recommended dosage. It also developed in the course of events that Nodine possessed a number of firearms, including a Mobile County Sheriff's Office-issued .9 mm Glock handgun. Under federal law, it is illegal for someone with an addiction to drugs to possess a firearm and federal authorities have added that charge to the murder defendant's woes.    

Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis, working his way north to south from polling station to polling station, reported at about 10:30 a.m. that the local turnout was “extremely low.”

He said he had visited 14 polling stations starting in Citronelle and had moved south into Semmes, Wilmer and Saraland with all locations showing light voter participation.

“We just left College Park Baptist Church near the University of Mobile and all indications point to a very low turnout,” said Davis. “One of the locations had just 44 or 45 voters so far.”

The low turnout wasn’t surprising, said Davis, who attributed it to tradition (primaries always generate a lighter turnout than general elections) and public schools having just last week dismissed for the summer (meaning considerable numbers of residents may be away on vacation).

Davis said he would not hazard an estimate on the percentage of the Mobile County electorate that will vote by the time polls close at 7 p.m.

Herman Thomas and his supporters will gather Tuesday evening at Cafe Royal at 6:30 p.m. Cafe Royal is located downtown at 101 Dauphin St. Thomas is challenging state Sen. Vivian Figures for the District 33 seat.

GOP District Attorney candidate Ashley Rich will hold a Campaign Celebration Tuesday at the Inca Grand Hall, 3556 Halls Mill Road, from 6 p.m. until.

Bradley Byrne, his family and backers will stage an Election Night Returns Party Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. until at the RSA Activities Center, 201 Dexter Avenue, in Montgomery.

Dr. Fred Wolfe has endorsed Tim James for Governor of Alabama, citing James’ commitment to moral leadership. Wolfe earned a national reputation as a moving force in the re-emergence of conservative leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention. He was pastor of Cottage Hill Baptist Church for 25 years. During that time, the church grew by more than 13,000 members, with more than 5,000 of these coming by profession of faith and baptism. James' election day schedule calls for him to arrive at 6 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery with his family to watch election results.

Mobile County Commission candidate Pete Riehm will address the Knollwood Republican Women's Club Wednesday, June 9 at 2 p.m. at the Gordon Oaks Retirement Center, 3151 Knollwood Drive. Riehm will speak about "the County, the Commission and his candidacy."

U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., will hold an election night viewing party at 7 p.m. in the Battle House Hotel Crystal Ballroom. For more information, call 251-460-2500.

David Green, one of three challengers along with Hallie Dixon and Ken Hitson bidding to unseat incumbent Baldwin County District Attorney Judy Newcomb, and his supporters will gather at Jesse's Restaurant in Magnolia Springs for election returns Tuesday night.

Baldwin County District Attorney candidate Hallie Dixon will have an election celebration at the Blue Marlin Restaurant, 8595 US Hwy 98, in Fairhope at 7 p.m.

The Common Sense Campaign (CSC), a “Tea Party” group committed to public awareness and voter education to enhance self-government, has interviewed candidates for Governor, Attorney General, and Congressional candidates from the First and Second Alabama Congressional Districts. These video interviews are posted at The Common Sense Campaign website for the public to view and learn more about each candidate. Visit the website to view them. For more information call the Common Sense Office at 251-626-7808.

Secretary of State Beth Chapman said her office has received complaints of reported voter fraud from Greene, Macon, Perry and Wilcox counties. The Voter Fraud Unit of the Secretary of State’s office has been in contact with the United States Department of Justice regarding these allegations and has worked in conjunction with all efforts to stop voter fraud statewide. Additionally, Secretary Chapman has requested the maximum number of federal agents and poll observers for the upcoming elections, including the June 1 primary. Citizens can report voter fraud using the website, www.stopvoterfraudnow.com. On the website, users may report voter fraud using a web form or email. People may also call the Secretary of State’s elections hotline at 1 (800) 274-VOTE (8683).

Mobile City Councilwoman Connie Hudson will formally announce her candidacy for the Special Election Republican Primary for County Commission District 2 at the Mobile Regional Senior Community Center Wednesday, June 2 at 1:30 p.m.

An active community leader in Mobile more than 30 years, Hudson has served nine years on the Mobile City Council representing District 6.

“I have the voting track record that won’t leave you guessing where I stand on important issues like raising sales taxes without a vote of the people,” said Hudson. “I’m consistent in my principles and convictions.”

During her City Council tenure, she participated in major economic development initiatives that resulted in the Mobile area's site selection for the ThyssenKrupp Steel Plant and the Austal USA shipbuilding facility.  She spearheaded the construction initiative for the Mobile Regional Senior Community Center in 2002.  Hudson has always emphasized public safety, public services and infrastructure improvements as goverrnment priorities.

She is a member of the Azalea City Republican Women, Mobile County Republican Executive Committee and Member-Elect of the State Republican Executive Committee.

The Mobile Regional Senior Community Center is located at 3201 Hillcrest Road. For more information on Hudson's campaign, visit www.voteconnie.com.

The special election to fill the remaining term of Steve Nodine who resigned last week will be held July 13. Ralph Buffkin and Pete Riehm have also announced their candidacies.
 
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