Vest ousts Dillard in County Commission race

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, March 14, 2012

By NICOLE LOGGINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Shelby County will have one new commissioner after the March 13 primary election.

Mike Vest ousted incumbent Larry Dillard in the race to be the Republican nominee for District 6 while Commissioner Tommy Edwards will be the Republican nominee for District 2, defeating challenger Earl Cunningham. The other seven commissioners ran unopposed.

No Democratic candidates qualified to run for County Commission seats this year, so Vest and Edwards will be unopposed in the general election barring write-in candidates.

“I’m excited and obviously I’m honored to serve again and it’s an honor that I’ve done a good enough job for them to keep me,” Edwards said.

Vest commended Dillard on his twenty years of service to the county.

“I’m very excited and can’t thank the voters enough for voting for me,” said Vest. “I’m thrilled and I want to commend Mr. Dillard and thank him for his hard work and 20 years on the commission.”

Commissioner Corley Ellis, who ran unopposed, said he was happy to know early he would get another term.

“I love watching elections with no opposition,” Ellis said. “I’m excited about another four years serving the citizens of Shelby County.”

Jon Parker held onto his position with the county commission.

“To be a good leader in good times is one thing, but to be a good leader in bad times is another,” Parker said. “I would like to thank the people of District 3.”

Daniel Acker Sr. pledged to continue his service to Shelby County.

“I like races like this,” Acker said. “I pledge the next four years to work the way I have the last five.”

Commissioner Lindsey Allison has served on the County Commission for 20 consecutive years and said there is a lot to be said for institutional knowledge and longevity in her elected position.

Commissioner Rick Shepherd enjoyed focusing on county business more than an election campaign.

“I’m very excited to run unopposed in this election. It has allowed me to focus more on county business instead of running a campaign,” Shepherd said. “I want to thank the residents of District 8 for the confidence they have placed in me.”

Commissioner Robbie Hayes gave the nine commissioners recognition as one unified group rather than nine individuals.

“I look at it as a group effort. We’re nine commissioners and I look at it as a team effort. We’re a pretty good team,” Hayes said.

Joel Bearden also ran unopposed this time, but has previously had opposition during prior elections.

“I am very glad to be able to serve for four more years and I thank the voters for supporting me,” Bearden said.