BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The special election for House District 55 concluded Tuesday night with a future runoff election due to low voter turnout.
According to the Jefferson County unofficial website results, the leading candidate in the race is Travis Hendrix at 670 votes (27.91%) over a total of 3,140 ballots cast. In second place is Sylvia Swayne with 515 votes (21.45%) and the third is Phyllis E. Oden-Jones with 485 votes (20.20%).
The remaining four candidates did not reach over 15% of the votes. As of now, 96.77% of the votes have been tallied.
Seven candidates are running for the seat, which opened following incumbent Fred Plump Jr.’s resignation earlier this year. The district includes parts of Fairfield, Ensley and Avondale.
Five candidates spoke to CBS 42’s Maddie McQueen regarding their thoughts prior to the polls closing.
Hendrix vowed to do everything in his power to improve the quality of life for people in the district.
“I’ve been serving and protecting this community for over 16 plus years and I’m not doing it just to be doing it. This is my life and I love my community, I love my city and I just want to serve them and go to Montgomery and work hard for them,” Hendrix said.
Swayne’s campaign has focused on her goals of expanding Medicaid and investing in education and economics.
“At the end of the day, it’s about changing the bigger conversation. It’s not just about September 26th, it’s about what can we envision for ourselves as the people of Alabama,” Swayne said.
Though the voter turnout wasn’t what candidates were hoping for, many say they were out there every day knocking and making calls to encourage people to get out to vote.
“That was a very difficult trail. It was hard. It was exciting but it was hard. It was hard because there were so many candidates. I’ve never worked this hard before in my life,” Oden-Jones said.
“At the end of the day, it’s up to us, the candidates, and the community leaders to help get out the vote,” Cara McClure said. “I wanted to make sure that we do our part, I don’t know how much it helped but I do know we did what we were supposed to do.”
“Just because I was not given the opportunity to serve in an elected position, I still have an obligation to those that elected me to serve as their neighborhood president,” Antwon Womack said.
CBS 42 reached out to both Kenneth Coachman and Ves Marable for comment on Tuesday but did not get a response back. The runoff will take place on Oct. 24. The general election will then follow in January.