Longtime Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King retired May 31, 2020, after 19 years of service to Alabama’s most populous county. His retirement leaves Place 1 open for Governor Kay Ivey to fill by appointment. This is a crucial seat to the court and the county, as the person who holds it has the authority to appoint both county conservators as well as the county’s election supervisor.
There’s been speculation that the Governor is leaning towards appointing Judge Sherri C. Friday, who currently holds seat two, and countless conservatives have come forward to ask Ivey to give serious consideration to not making that choice.
A Yellowhammer News story pointed out that Judge Friday received campaign contributions totaling $2,500 from the Birmingham law firm of Jones & Hawley. At this firm, Doug Jones was a partner before becoming U.S. Senator and Alabama’s lone statewide elected Democrat. Greg Hawley, the other partner in the firm, serves as a conservator in Jefferson County. He is at the heart of several controversial cases and conversations, as previously reported by Alabama Today.
The Jefferson County Republican Party chairman, Paul DeMarco, recently authored a letter to Ivey urging her to appoint someone other than Friday. He specifically requested that she appoint someone with strong Republican credentials, which is intended to give conservatives some representation in the Jefferson County courthouse.
“With Judge King’s retirement on May 31, 2020, you now have the opportunity to replace Judge King with a strong Republican candidate that can ensure that we have free and fair elections in Jefferson County,” DeMarco wrote to Ivey. “All three places on the Jefferson County Election Commission are currently held by members of the Democratic Party. It is imperative that you appoint a strong, qualified Republican with knowledge of the election process to this position.”
When reached with questions about this appointment, Gina Maiola, the Governor’s press secretary said, “Applicants being considered will be interviewed, and Governor Ivey will make her selection. As with any appointment, it is not standard practice for us to share preliminary information on the potential candidates while the application process is ongoing.
An announcement of the Governor’s selection would come from our office. I anticipate this news in the coming weeks.”
For those interested in weighing in, you can send the Governor a message here or call her office at 334-242-7100.