Low turnout primary brings some changes to local offices


24 percent of Baldwin County’s eligible voters went to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots in a number of state and countywide races.

Longtime Baldwin County Commissioner Frank Burt was defeated by political newcomer Jeb Ball, with Ball getting 51.79 percent of the vote to Burt’s 48.21 percent. Burt has served on the commission for several decades.

Sitting Daphne City Councilman Joe Davis defeated former Daphne City Councilman John Lake in an open seat County Commission District 2 race created by Chris Elliott’s run for the state senate. Davis received 52.41 percent of the vote to Lake’s 47.59 percent. Davis will face off against Democrat Heather Brown in November.

In County Commission District 4, incumbent Commissioner Skip Gruber fended off a challenge from Orange Beach City Councilman Jerry Johnson. Gruber received 51.44 percent of the vote to Johnson’s 48.56 percent.

In Baldwin County’s District Court Judge race, incumbent Bill Scully bested challenger Brian Dasinger, 60.62 percent to 39.38 percent.

In the Baldwin County Circuit Clerk’s race, incumbent Jody Wise Campbell cleared the 50 percent of the vote hurdle over challengers Mark Stejskal and Pam Forbes. Wise received 50.05 percent of the vote, with Stejskal coming in at 33.6 percent and Forbes at 16.35 percent.

With about 200 provisional ballots yet to be counted, there could be a chance Campbell could be put into a runoff with Stejskal - though county elections staff said that outcome was possible, but unlikely.

Baldwin County candidates seeking statewide office had a mixed bag of a night.

Stockton native John McMillan, the state’s sitting agriculture commissioner, easily won his statewide race to become treasurer.

Sitting Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice and Bay Minette resident Lyn Stuart won Baldwin County in her race, but ultimately fell short statewide, losing her seat to Justice Tom Parker.

In North Baldwin’s House District 64 race, incumbent Harry Shiver beat back a challenge from Stephen Sexton. Shiver received 54.98 percent of the vote to Sexton’s 45.02 percent.

In the Democratic primary for House District 96, which is split between Baldwin and Mobile Counties, Maurice Horsey won out against Richard “Web” Whiting. Horsey received 77.92 percent of the Baldwin County vote to Whiting’s 22.08 percent.

Horsey will now go on to face Assistant District Attorney and Republican nominee Matt Simpson in the general election.

Probate Judge Tim Russell said he was somewhat disappointed in the turnout for this year’s election and he hopes more people will show up for the July runoff.

“I think the bad weather was certainly a factor in our turnout with this election,” Russell said. “I always want to see Baldwin County have a big turnout, but that just didn’t happen for us this time.”

Russell said the election went smoothly across the county, even with some precinct changes in various areas.

“We have a great county staff and wonderful election volunteers that helped us sort everything out for the citizens,” Russell said. “There were no major issues in any of our precincts, and I’m thankful for that.