Ford is a native of Gadsden and a small businessman who has served four terms in the Alabama House of Representatives. Ford became the Minority Leader of the Alabama House of Representatives in the aftermath of the Democrats’ loss of control of the Legislature in the 2010 election. Ford was a strong supporter of a lottery while he was in the Legislature and was a vocal critic of then Alabama Democratic Party Chair Nancy Worley and Vice Chair for Minority Affairs Joe Reed. This feud ultimately cost him his role as Minority Leader. Ford owns a small insurance company and is the publisher of the Gadsden Messenger newspaper.
Ford’s opponent was former Gadsden Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Heather Brothers New.
Ford won with 61.7% of the vote (3,306 votes) to New’s 38.3% (2,053).
The victory is a major political comeback for Ford, who lost a race as an independent for State Senate to Republican Andrew Jones in 2018. Ford has campaigned extensively on promises to recruit new industry to Gadsden.
Also on Tuesday’s ballot were several city council races.
In City Council District 3, Larry J. Avery, Jr. defeated Denecia Ann Getaw 282 to 243.
For City Council District 4, incumbent Kent Back narrowly defeated challenger Carrie Machen 723 to 628
In City Council District 5, incumbent Jason Wilson defeated challenger Billy F. Billingsley, Sr. 382 to 222.
In the City Council, District 6 race Dixie Minatra defeated Renay Stokes Reeves 263 to 206.
And finally, in Gadsden City Council District 7, incumbent Ben Reed was defeated by challenger Chris Robinson 439 to 800.
Longtime Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton did not seek a fifth term.
The Gadsden City Council will meet on Wednesday with a pre-meeting at 10:00 a.m. and a meeting at 11:00 a.m. to certify the election results. These election results were originally published by the Gadsden Times.
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