Tuscaloosa city councilwoman wants election results overturned over opponent’s past felony convictions

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Tuscaloosa City Council certified the municipal election results today from the March 2 election.  

In the District 7 city council race, Cassius Lanier defeated incumbent Sonya McKinstry. She is now asking the courts to overturn the election results because her attorney, Cam Parsons, says Lanier has not been pardoned for past felony convictions.

“Because he’s had four felony convictions for which he was sentenced for more than a year. And state code of Alabama says a person who has had those convictions is disqualified to serve,” Parsons said.

Supporters for McKinstry held a rally Tuesday morning in front of Tuscaloosa City Hall to show support. McKinstry did not want to talk, but her supporters, including Luisa Reyes and Kalis Goldesby, are hoping she will get to keep her council seat.

“We feel that Sonya is the only eligible candidate on the ballot.  She has been in office and her eligibility is without question.  So she is the only eligible candidate and that just speaks for itself,” Reyes said.

“I’m not the person who is going to talk about Cassius’ past but the law is the law,” Goldesby said.

Parsons says he is hopeful the court will rule in favor of McKinstry.

“I hope to disqualify Mr. Lanier and one of the things I’ve asked for is that miss Mckinstry be certified as the winner of the seat,” he said.

Three weeks ago, CBS 42 interviewed Lanier who told us he mentors young kids and tells them his story about getting in trouble with the law and how he turned his life around for the positive.

Lanier owns a car dealership in Tuscaloosa, and he works in his community as a role model. CBS 42 reached out to Lanier today for an on-camera interview, but he did not want to make a comment.

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