Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has predicted 15 to 18 percent of voters will show up to the polls on July 17 for the runoff election. But two first time Democratic candidates for House District 77 are hoping to encourage even more voters to show up on election day.
Since the June 5 Democratic primary, Malcolm Calhoun and Tashina Morrishave doubled down on their canvassing efforts in hopes of motivating a high voter turnout. The two are going head-to-head in the Democratic primary runoff election, seeking to win the seat currently held by Rep. John Knight. Knight, who’s held the seat since 1993, is running for the Alabama Senate District 26 seat, disqualifying him from running in the House District 77 race and thus creating the open seat.
Calhoun is currently the owner and operator of an insurance agency and holds an M.B.A. in marketing from Auburn University. He looks forward to taking his business expertise to Montgomery.
“When I traveled that district there are too many buildings that were once vibrant places of business that have closed up and are left now and eyesore of a vacant building. We need to change that,” Calhoun told WSFA. “I understand having to budget, make sacrifices, make those decision and being successful in doing it.”
Meanwhile, Morris is the director of the TS Morris Youth Intervention — a non-profit geared towards educating children and families on conflict resolution, anger management, teen pregnancy, and drug and alcohol abuse. Earning her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Alabama State University, Morris has a strong stance on criminal justice reforms.
“I believe in people over politics, purpose over power. I believe in your voice and your voice should be heard,” she told the Montgomery Advertiser.
Both candidates are seeking to reform education and increase funding for Montgomery schools.
“Unity is one of the main key components in move us forward,” Morris told WSFA. “I would like to bridge the gap between people and government. Some people just don’t know different things about government. I want to bridge the gap so you will be involved”