Alvis, Kennedy headed to runoff for Shelby County Circuit Court judge nomination

Published 11:15 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2016

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

The Republican Party nomination for Shelby County Circuit Court judge will be determined in a runoff election between candidates Lara McCauley Alvis and Patrick Kennedy.



Alvis finished the March 1 primary election with 45.26 percent of the vote, and Kennedy garnered 39.34 percent.



“I think today was good, we had people at almost all the polling places…I tried to go and visit as many as I could,” Alvis said in a March 1 phone interview.

Alvis, a Shelby County native and attorney, has 16 years of law experience and roughly 50 jury trials under her belt.

“I feel (that) I bring jury experience, and it’s very important if you’re going to preside over a jury trial, you need to have tried a jury trial,” Alvis said. “I run my campaign on earning voters…I want to earn their vote by them looking into my credentials.”

Kennedy has practiced law for 12 years and currently runs a general law practice in Alabaster.

“Most of my practice involves me being in the courthouse and in court,” Kennedy said in a March 1 phone interview. “This is what I do, and I think the next step for me is to serve the people of Shelby County as a circuit judge.”

Alvis and Kennedy are vying for the Shelby County Circuit judge position previously held by Judge Dan Reeves, who retired from the bench March 1. The winner of the runoff election will be the Republican Party nomination to fill the position following the expiration of Reeves’ term in early 2017. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will appoint a new judge to serve the remainder of Reeves’ term.

The runoff election is scheduled for April 12, and until that time, Alvis and Kennedy will continue their campaigns and reach out to voters.

“We’ve got a good group of volunteers and we’ve got a good group of supporters out there that I believe will support us in the runoff,” Kennedy said.

Both Alvis and Kennedy expressed a strong desire to serve their home county as a judge.

“It’s more like a calling to me in the sense that I love practicing law, but I just feel like it’s something I need to do, I’m supposed to do,” Alvis said. “I just feel (that) my experience and my understanding of this county and my ability to be neutral in all situations…would serve the county well.”

“It would mean a lot for me to serve the people of Shelby County,” Kennedy said. “I’m ready to take this experience and knowledge and my personality to the bench and be able to administer justice.”

Alvis and Kennedy both finished ahead of opponent Timothy “Tim” Smith. As of 11 p.m. on March 1, Smith had not returned a request for comment.