Judicial races are often pretty straight-forward, but they’ve been anything but that in Jefferson County as of late with a last minute disqualification and a candidate making a party switch.
A disqualified candidate
Last week, Fayette County Circuit Judge Samuel Junkin ruled Democratic candidate Linda Hall was ineligible to run in the Nov. 6 election for Circuit Court because she failed to meet the statutory residency requirements — having not lived in the county 12 months before the election.
During her trial, Hall testified she does not live in Jefferson County. “I would not have ran if I knew that I lived in Shelby County,” she said.
Despite being the party’s nominee, votes for Hall will essentially be null and void, as she is no longer eligible to win the seat.
Secretary of State John Merrill explained should Hall earn more votes than her Republican opponent, incumbent Theresa Pulliam, the race will be void and Gov. Kay Ivey will then appoint someone to the seat for the two-year term.
Jefferson County District Judge John Amari is also keeping things interesting in Jefferson County. On Friday, the Democratic judge sent a letter to the Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party asking him for permission to rejoin the Republican Party.
In the letter, Amari stated, “I believe qualifications and experience matter in our judges. I feel so strongly about the qualifications, experience and character of Teresa Pulliam that I feel compelled to publicly endorse, actively campaign and vote for the Republican nominee.”
Elected as a Democrat in 2008, Judge Amari decided to make the switch in order to publicly work for the election of Pulliam.
JeffCo GOP Chairman Sallie Bryant welcomed Judge Amari back to the party.
“Judge Amari is a man of high character who has ably served the people of our county with honor and dignity. We are pleased he will use his influence to help elect our local judicial candidates,“ Bryant said.