Sixteen local positions will be on ballots in Morgan, Limestone and Lawrence counties next year, but no candidates filed to run for them Tuesday as qualifying opened for many races, according to the Alabama secretary of state's office.

Statewide, qualifying for Democrat and Republican candidates to appear on the March 3 primary ballot concludes Nov. 8.

The Morgan County Democratic Executive Committee will open its qualifying Thursday, according to local Party Chair Brenda J. Gray. 

Primary runoff elections will be March 31, and the general election is Nov. 3. Voter turnout is expected to be high in the 2020 general election because the presidential election will be on the ballot, local election officials said.

Morgan County Probate Judge Greg Cain said nine local races will be on the ballot including district judge places 1 and 3, commission districts 3 and 4, county school board districts 2, 3 and 6 the license commissioner and revenue commissioner.

The state mandatory age limit of 70 will keep District Judge Place 3 Charles Langham from running for reelection, Cain said. Four potential candidates, Emily Baggett, Takisha Guster Gholston, Kevin Kusta and Patrick Caver, have announced plans to run as Republicans for Langham’s position, Cain said. Judges serve six-year terms.

Cain said qualifying began Tuesday for the Republican Party. Morgan County Republican Party Executive Committee Chair is Julie Clausen.

Gray said Morgan Democrats “will be actively seeking qualified candidates. The executive committee is focusing on equal justice for all in the political process.”

In Limestone County, four positions — commission districts 2 and 4 and school board district 4 and 5 — are on the ballot.

Limestone Elections Director Bobbi Bailey said in recent years not all races have had competition.

“We have had very few qualify in the Democratic Party for any of our local elections in the past few election cycles,” she said.

The Limestone GOP chair is Noah Wahl. The Democratic chair is Kenneth Hines.

In Lawrence County, Probate Judge Greg Dutton said local races on the ballot will be the school superintendent, board of education district 3 and the revenue commissioner.

“The incumbents have expressed they’ll be running,” he said.

The Republican chair is Daniel Stover and the Democratic chair is Zane Garrison. Stover said he anticipates the incumbents will run for reelection. Gov. Kay Ivey appointed Brad Henderson revenue commissioner when Tommy Praytor retired in June 2018. It will be Henderson’s first election.

Statewide offices that will be up for election in 2020 include two Supreme Court seats as well as several appellate court seats and board of education positions. U.S. House seats will be up for election, as will the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Doug Jones.

In 2016, the statewide general election with a presidential race on the ballot lured 2.13 million voters, or 66.8% of those registered, to the polls, according to Secretary of State John Merrill. 

Many local municipal elections will hold voting in August. or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.
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