Election qualifying period shortened by eight weeks

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Shelby County Republicans and Democrats planning to run for public office during the 2014 elections will have eight fewer weeks than normal to qualify for the elections the Alabama Secretary of State’s office recently announced.

In an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Alabama Secretary of State Jim Bennett moved the qualifying deadline for major-party candidates from April 4 to Feb. 7.

“Though we do not have yet an order from the court, we have agreed with the Department of Justice to move our deadlines up considerably to get ballots to the absentee election managers in each county,” Bennett wrote in a press release. “This will allow ballots enough time to be sent to military and overseas voters well before the federal deadline, which is 45 days before the date of the election.”

Independent candidates and candidates of parties not receiving more than 20 percent of the entire vote cast in the last general election still have until June 3 to qualify.

Qualifying for major party candidates is scheduled to open on Thursday, Jan. 16.

Local offices up for election this year include the Shelby County sheriff, superintendent of education, property tax commissioner, coroner and one seat on the Shelby County Board of Education.

Those interested in running in the local races must qualify in-person with the local parties. The Shelby County Republican Party is located at 1920 Valleydale Road, Suite 154, in Hoover, and can be reached at 994-6497.

The Shelby County Republican Party also is planning to have representatives at the Shelby County Courthouse for last-minute qualifying from 3-5 p.m. on Feb. 7, according to Shelby County Republican Party Chairman Freddy Ard.

According to the Alabama Democratic party website, Miranda Joseph is the Shelby County Democratic party chairperson, and can be reached at 991-3166 or at miranda.joseph@ymail.com.

Major-party candidates for Alabama House of Representatives districts 49 and 73 and Senate candidates for Alabama’s 6th Congressional District must qualify with the state Republican and Democratic parties.