BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A special election for House District 55 is set for Tuesday. Seven candidates are vying for the seat.
Fred Plump resigned from the role in May after pleading guilty to wire fraud conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
Several of the candidates agreed that the area is in dire need of representation. They have a common goal of wanting to make the district they would represent a better place.
Cara McClure said she would focus on a variety of issues which include health care, education, and public safety.
“The gist of my plans is making sure that we address food desserts across District 55, educating, meaning making sure that funding for public schools is prioritized and reforming our public safety criminal justice system,” said McClure.
Antwon Womack plans to focus on economic development, saying the area has so much potential for innovation.
“My plan is to be able to connect those small business owners with the resources and also start helping others that want to start businesses, give them the opportunity to find out how they can do that in the district,” said Womack.
Candidates Kenneth Coachman and Travis Hendrix would both like to address public safety in the area.
Hendrix says he would do everything in his power to improve quality of life for people in the district.
“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter where you’re from, where you’re at, where you live, everybody wants to feel safe at the end of the day,” said Hendrix. “Public safety is one of my main components in this election.”
Coachman said he wants to focus specifically on decreasing gun violence.
“We’re losing too many young people in this district and that’s one of my major concerns,” said Coachman.
Sylvia Swayne is running with goals of being present for the district and engaging people to demand better from our government.
“There is an opportunity to elect a candidate who is not a career politician, who is running for the first time, who is 26 years old and has a fresh perspective,” said Swayne. “Business as usual is not working, so let’s try something different.”
Ves Marable said he feels his background as a lawyer makes him best fit to take on the role.
“I’m the only person in this race that actually has a degree in law,” said Marable. “That’s a lawmaker’s job, and I’m the only candidate that actually has the ability, the qualifications and the experience to do that.”
Phyllis Oden-Jones said she would be a true servant for the people of District 55.
“I’m going to represent them to bring resources into our community so that we can rebuild, revitalize and reshape our shared interests,” said Jones.
Political Analyst Steve Flowers said if there is a good time for this special election to happen this is it, because the legislative session will not start again until February.
Flowers said there will likely not be a large turnout for this election, but that people need to show up to vote because the person elected will be their representation.
Flowers said in this kind of position, you want someone who will work hard for you doing things honestly and efficiently. In District 55 he said someone focusing on health care could be a good fit.
You can vote for your candidate of choice today. If a primary run-off is necessary between the top two candidates, that will take place on October 24. The general election will then follow in January.