Flowers loses in county

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 5, 2002

The months of legal pitfalls, court rulings and attack ads may have been for naught as Hank Erwin and Don Murphy appear to be headed for a June 25 run-off for state senate.

Former State Rep. Steve Flowers appears to have finished third in the four-man race, potentially ending his hopes of representing District 14.

&uot;We are excited and humbled by the support we have received,&uot; said Erwin. &uot;We are on cloud nine at this point.&uot;

In Shelby County, Erwin received 3,138 votes, Murphy received 2,823 and Flowers came in third with 1,476. Michael B. Morton received 268 votes.

&uot;I am pleased with the way the election went,&uot; said Murphy. &uot;My goal all along was to make it to the run-off. We will win it in the run-off.&uot;

Murphy eventually earned the spot in the runoff thanks to a strong showing in Shelby County.

Voters will decide the run-off between Erwin and Murphy in three weeks, but the legal debate on the race will still continue. A hearing is still planned to be heard by Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Michael Joiner today in Columbiana.

&uot;We are pleased with the results, but pleased even more that we won without any negative advertising and attack ads,&uot; Erwin said.

Murphy said he will continue the same game plan for the run-off he used in the primary.

&uot;From day one we have talked issues,&uot; Murphy said. &uot;I believe that is what people would rather talk about.&uot;

The issue at hand is the Alabama Republican Party’s wish of parties having the right to certify their candidates. In the District 14 race, Flowers was allowed to remain on the ballot after a Republican Party candidate committee disqualified him because he had not fulfilled the residency requirements.

The issue of residency will also be heard at today’s hearing.

The fourth candidate in the race, Mike Morton, received more than 530 votes.

Attempts to reach Flowers and Morton were unsuccessful. Some boxes from both Shelby and Jefferson Counties had yet to report at deadline