Candidates qualify for Columbiana city races

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, July 18, 2012


COLUMBIANA — City of Columbiana voters will be asked to choose between three candidates for mayor on Aug. 28.

Incumbent J. Allan Lowe faces challengers Dr. Stancil Handley, Columbiana optometrist who has served on the city council since 2008, and political newcomer, Matthew G. Morris Jr., a recent high school graduate.

Lowe, who operates an insurance agency, seeks his fourth term as mayor. He narrowly won re-election — by five votes — against challenger Gregg Rushton in 2008.

It was widely speculated Rushton would be a candidate for mayor again this year. He was a participant as such in the city’s annual Liberty Day parade. However, contacted this morning, Rushton said, “This is going to be a campaign no one is proud of and I want no part of it.”

Handley, who has operated his private optometry practice in Columbiana for 31 years and is a U.S. Army veteran, represents Ward/District 2 on the city council.

Morris, who graduated from Shelby County High School in 2012, will soon be a student at the University of Montevallo.

In city council races:

• Ward/District 1 council representative incumbent Frieda Adams is being challenged by Leslie Whiting.

• Ward/District 2 council seat, which Handley is vacating for his run for mayor, is being sought by Louis Payne and Barbara A. Moore.

• Ward/District 3 incumbent council representative Jim Strickland is being challenged by Ricky Ruston.

• Ward/District 4 council member Tom Seale is not seeking re-election. That council position is being sought by Kim R. King and Michele Walker.

• Ward/District 5 council member incumbent Ouida L. Mayfield is being challenged by David Galutza.