Five candidates have qualified for the Morgan County District Judge Place 3 race to fill the seat being vacated by Charles Langham, who is unable to seek reelection because of the state’s age limit for judges.

Decatur prosecutor Emily Baggett and attorneys Patrick Caver, Takisha Guster Gholston and Kevin Kusta will meet in the March 3 Republican primary with the winner going up against Democrat Paul Ray Holland, a Decatur attorney, in the Nov. 3 general election.

Friday was the final day for candidates to qualify for the primary.

Holland, 54, is the only Democrat running in nine Morgan County races.

Langham was appointed to the bench in January 2008 and ran unopposed in 2014. Morgan County Probate Judge Greg Cain said Alabama law states no one older than 70 can be appointed or elected to the bench.

In the District Judge Place 1 race, Republican Brent Craig has no opposition.

Incumbents in both County Commission races will have primary competition. In District 3, incumbent Don Stisher of Falkville will face Paul Holmes of Eva. Holmes is the District 4 representative on the Morgan County School Board.

District 4 incumbent Greg Abercrombie of Valhermoso Springs is being challenged by Charles Crow of Somerville.

According to the Morgan Republicans Facebook page, only one of the three school board incumbents faces competition.

Chris Humphries is taking on incumbent Tom Earwood in District 6.

Adam Glenn, District 2, and Mike Tarpley, District 3, have no opposition to return for six more years on the school board.

Morgan County License Commissioner Sharon Maxwell and Revenue Commissioner Amanda Scott will appear on the March primary ballots unopposed.

Morgan County Democratic Executive Committee Chairwoman Brenda Gray said she was “personally disappointed” more local Democrats didn’t qualify.

“I know a few people who got with their families and weighed things out and decided not to run,” she said. “It takes a lot of courage to run for political office. I want to urge everybody of all parties to stand behind America. People need to exercise their one vote.”

In Lawrence County, School Superintendent Jon Bret Smith is facing longtime educator Andy Bradford in the GOP primary. The winner will face Democrat Thomas Jones, principal at Lawrence County High School, in the November general election.

District 3 school board member Beth Vinson, a Republican, is being challenged by first-time candidate Sabrina Barkley of the Langtown community in the primary.

Revenue Commissioner Brad Henderson, who was appointed to the post by Gov. Kay Ivey in June 2018 when Tommy Praytor retired, is running unopposed. The six-year term pays $78,100 annually.

In Limestone County, all four Republican-held positions are challenged by fellow GOP members.

District 2 County Commissioner Steve Turner faces opposition from Danny Barksdale, while District 4 incumbent Ben Harrison is challenged by LaDon Townsend.

Belinda Maples and Heath Moss are hoping to replace Edward Winter, who is not seeking reelection for the District 4 school board seat. In District 5, Kevin Dunn is challenging incumbent Bradley Young.

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"I’m proud that we have candidates running that believe in constitutionally limited government and low taxes," Limestone County Executive Committee Chairman Noah Wahl said.

Runoff for primaries is March 31.

The last day to register to vote electronically for the primary is Feb. 17.

The last day for third party or independent candidates to file for access to the general election ballot is March 3.

mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.

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