UPDATED: Republicans have 17 qualified for upcoming primary

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

The Shelby County Republican party has qualified 17 candidates for the March 13 primary election for nine Shelby County Commission seats, probate judgeship and two Shelby County School Board positions.

For the nine County Commission seats, incumbent Corley Ellis has qualified for District 1; incumbent Tommy Edwards and Earl Cunningham for District 2; incumbent Jon Parker for District 3; incumbent Daniel Acker Sr. for District 4; incumbent Joel Bearden for District 5; incumbent Larry Dillard and Mike Vest for District 6; incumbent Lindsey Allison for District 7; incumbent Rick Shepherd for District 8; and incumbent Robbie Hayes for District 9.

Incumbent Jim Fuhrmeister and Tim Mitchell have both qualified to run for Shelby County probate judge.

Incumbent Lee Doebler and Jimmy W. Bice have qualified for the Place 1 Board of Education seat, while incumbent Steve Martin and Kevin W. Morris are both running for the Place 2 seat.

Although Martin was not on the Shelby County GOP candidate qualifying list as of 4 p.m. Jan. 12, he said in a phone interview that he qualified Jan. 11 for the Board of Education Place 2 race.

Other potential candidates have until 5 p.m. Jan. 13 to qualify for the primary. Shelby County GOP officials will be in the probate office at the Shelby County Courthouse in Columbiana from 3-5 p.m. Jan. 13 to help last-minute qualifiers, according to a press release from the Shelby County Republican party.

There are no Democrat candidates qualified for any of the primary races.

Shelby County GOP chairman Freddy Ard said in the press release that with the absence of Democratic candidates, the county’s County Commission, probate judge and board of education races will be over after the primary.

“The Republican primary in Shelby County is tantamount to the general election, and therefore, our elected officials will be effectively decided on March 13,” Ard said.