Blackwell takes District 15 State Senate seat

Published 11:39 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A strong people-oriented campaign, a dedicated team and an active voting district helped lead Republican District 15 Alabama Senate candidate Slade Blackwell to victory, according to the new legislator.

Blackwell, a Montevallo native, defeated his Republican opponent Steve French during the June 1 Republican primary election. Because no Democrats qualified for the race, the June 1 primary served as the deciding election for the District 15 Senate seat.

With 37 of the 38 District 15 voting precincts reporting, Blackwell had an unofficial total of 5,280, compared to French’s 3,656. District 15 covers parts of Jefferson County and much of eastern Shelby County, including the cities of Chelsea, Westover and Columbiana.

“It’s been a long and tough campaign,” Blackwell said after winning the election. “This whole race has been about change and getting representation back to our district.

“This victory doesn’t have a lot to do with me. It has a lot to do with the people in this district,” Blackwell added. “You can’t win a campaign with TV and radio commercials. You have to get out and meet folks.”

As election results began trickling into Blackwell’s campaign headquarters in downtown Mountain Brook beginning at 7 p.m., Blackwell began winning precinct after precinct as his campaign staff wrote the results on a large poster board.

“We’ve just been outstanding in the polls,” Blackwell said during his election result-watching party. “Part of the reason we won was because we worked hard. We outworked our opponent.”

As dozens of supporters, family members and campaign organizers congratulated Blackwell, the new senator said he would spend the next several months planning to deal with the “tough issues” in Montgomery.

“At this point, we are just going to be happy about tonight,” Blackwell said as his children rushed to congratulate him. “I look forward to tackling the tough issues when we get down there (to Montgomery).”

As of about 11:30 p.m. June 1, messages left with French had not been returned.