Jones Pulls Away Late to Win Sheriff Primary Nomination

By Brian Hamilton, Correspondent

Christopher Washington supporters were out in full force last Tuesday night at the Pickens County Courthouse to keep tabs on their candidate’s tightly contested race with Democratic sheriff nominee Tonnie Jones, who is Chief of Police in Aliceville.

The race was neck-and-neck all night until the last precinct, Aliceville, was announced. Jones took a large margin of the votes in the largest voter turnout precinct to win the primary 1,556 votes to Washington’s 907. Jones took over 75% of the votes in his native town to win the nomination, as he received 752 from the Aliceville precinct.

“It was pretty stressful, but I had already said that I wanted to let the people make their decision by going out to the polls,” Jones said. “I was really hoping that Aliceville would come out in great numbers and when the numbers came in, I was very grateful for the support that came in from the Aliceville precinct.”

Jones will face-off against incumbent sheriff David Abston in the November general election.

“I worked for the sheriff’s department for seven years and I think it’s just time for a change,” Jones said. “For the county as a whole, I want everyone to stay positive and not have any negativity on social media. Sheriff Abston has done a great job in Pickens County and we’re just looking, hopefully, for him to pass the torch on and continue to make Pickens County a great place to live.”

Pickens County native and District Attorney of the 24th Judicial Circuit Chris McCool ran away with the Republican nomination for Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, District 2, by defeating both Rich Anderson and Dennis O’Dell. McCool received an overwhelming 91% of the votes in the election.

Republican probate judge candidate David Pate was able to come out on top in a close race with Gordon McGlawn, winning the nomination by a vote of 1,472-1,169.

Board of Education District 2 Democrat Frankie Spencer came away with the nomination over Michael Hinton by a vote of 648-258.

In Republican county commission primaries, Bobby Bain defeated William Latham in District 1, Oscar Sam Wiggins Jr. defeated Rodney Homan in District 3, Mark Gray defeated William Randall Dillard in District 5, while Democratic District 2 candidate Bobby Ingram garnered 65% of the votes to defeat Richard Hughes and Gary Davidson.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox ran away with the Democratic nomination in Pickens County with 76% of the votes, while Kay Ivey won the Republican nomination while picking up over 70% of the county’s votes.