Mark Pettway begins his job as Jefferson County sheriff today. He’s the first African American to hold that post after defeating longtime Republican Sheriff Mike Hale in November. One of his priorities is to hire and promote more women and minorities in law enforcement.
Sheila Tyson and Lashunda Scales were sworn into office as Jefferson County commissioners Wednesday, along with Steve Ammons, a former Vestavia Hills City Council member. Tyson and Scales are Democrats; Ammons is a Republican. The Republican majority continues on the commission with incumbents Jimmie Stephens and Joe Knight.
Democrats across the country took the House and flipped several governorships during the midterms. It was a different story in Alabama. Democrats here lost every statewide race, and they lost five statehouse seats to Republicans. Recent news reports say the Alabama Democratic Party sat on hundreds of thousands of dollars -- money candidates say could have been used toward their campaigns. Many Alabama Democratic candidates blame their poor performance on the lack of support from the state Party.
Republicans left no doubt about their dominance of Alabama politics Tuesday. Republican incumbent Governor Kay Ivey turned back a challenge from Democrat Walt Maddox. The Republicans kept all statewide offices and won all contested congressional races in Alabama.
Democrats hoped to make inroads in Republican-dominated Alabama during Tuesday's midterm election. They were riding high after electing Doug Jones to the Senate in a special election in December. That enthusiasm did not translate into victory as Republicans maintained all statewide offices and all contested congressional seats.
Of all the congressional candidates in Alabama Tuesday, only one was guaranteed to win. Democratic Representative Terri Sewell faced no opposition as she reclaimed the seventh district seat. But for the first time in her congressional career, Democrats hold the majority in the House of Representatives. Rep. Sewell says Democrats will be able work with Republicans on Capitol Hill.
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