Spann pulls out of runoff

Lawyer Jonathan Spann won’t continue seeking the District 8 seat on the Shelby County Commission.

Spann announced Wednesday morning that he’s taking his name off the runoff ballot against Rick Shepherd.

The two political newcomers were to meet in a July 15 runoff.

“After careful consideration, and after speaking with my supporters, I have decided not to have my name placed on the runoff ballot,” said Spann. “Given the support he [Rick Shepherd] was shown, I don’t think it’s in the county’s or district’s best interest.”

Shepherd was 22 votes from winning outright in the June 3 primary against Spann, Anne Glass and Joe Sarver.

The four candidates were vying for the seat left open by Ted Crockett, who didn’t seek reelection. District 8 covers parts of North Shelby County along U.S. 280 from the Cahaba River to Westover.

“Rick Shepherd received notable support in the primary, and I believe he is able and qualified to lead District 8,” Spann said. “We share many of the same principals, values and goals, and I support him as our District 8 commissioner.”

Spann, 31, is a lawyer in Columbiana. Shepherd, 44, works for Prosys Information Systems and has served 25 years in the Alabama National Guard.

Spann said by bowing out now he hopes to save the state time and money.

“It’s my understanding that they haven’t printed the ballots yet,” said Spann.

Shepherd said he too was glad the process was complete.

“I’m happy that we are not going to have to put taxpayers through the runoff,” Shepherd said. “I’m very excited and pledge to do my best to be a great commissioner for District 8.”

Shepherd also had high praise for his former opponent.

“I think Jonathan is a great guy. He has a level head on his shoulders and has a bright future,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd faces no Democratic challenger in November, meaning he will be sworn in as District 8’s new commissioner in January.

He plans to focus on managing Shelby County’s growth and traffic.

“I hope to address those issues and come up with some sort of solution to keep Shelby County one of the best places to live,” Shepherd said.

There will still be one runoff July 15.

Incumbent Earl Cunningham will face Tommy Edwards for the District 2 seat.

Edwards captured 49.4 percent of the vote June 3 and was just shy of the majority needed to avoid a runoff. Cunningham received 27.5 percent.

District 2 includes much of southwest Shelby County, including parts of Calera and Montevallo.