The people's voice of reason

Voters go to the polls today in Alabama House District 52 special Democratic primary

Democrats in Alabama House District 52 (HD52) vote today in the special Democratic primary to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of disgraced Alabama House member John Rogers (D-Birmingham).

Six candidates have qualified for Tuesday's special Democratic primary election.

These are:

Dedra Campbell

Kelvin Datcher

Eric Major

LaTanya Millhouse

Eyrika L. Parker

Frank Woodson

According to Birmingham Watch, Dedra Campbell Dedra Campbell is 49 years old, serves on the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee, is a veteran volunteer for Democratic and local candidates, and works in zoning for the City of Birmingham.

She has pledged to work for women's reproductive rights and Medicaid expansion.

Campbell has a bachelor's degree in information technology and business management from Herzing University and a law degree from Miles University School of Law.

Kelvin Datcher is very active in his community. He has worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), at Alabama State University, as a policy analyst at the Jefferson County Health Department, as the Chief of Staff for a Birmingham City Council member in council district 6, and as the Deputy Director for Community Development with the Birmingham Mayor's office.

Datcher is a deacon at the Sardis Missionary Baptist Church. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Birmingham Zoo and on the Board of Directors for 100 Black Men of Birmingham. Datcher worked to secure a $50 million Choice Neighborhood grant for the community. He is married, has three children, and a 90 pound dog named Biscuit.

Datcher has the endorsement of Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.

"Kelvin is the change we need to move beyond corruption and bring honest representation to District 52," said Mayor Woodfin.

Datcher has pledged to increase teacher pay, cut classroom sizes in half, provide dedicated state funding for arts, music and field trips, support Medicaid expansion, provide health coverage for thousands of uninsured Alabamians, work to save struggling hospitals and clinics, support homeownership funding initiatives, leverage tax credits to support pathway to homeownership for families, increase public transportation funding, and support minority owned businesses.

According to original reporting by Birmingham Watch, former State Rep. Eric Major represented House District 55 from 1998 to 2006. Major lives in Fairfield, he is 56 years old. He ran for the Jefferson County Commission unsuccessfully in 2007 and 2018. He serves on the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee, he was formerly a member of the National Conference of Black State Legislators, and served on the executive committee of the National Conference of Mayors.

Major is a small business owner, he is the principal consultant with Absolute Solutions, a public affairs consulting firm since 2006; he has served as the executive director of the nonprofit Alabama Minority Health Institute since 2002. He formerly worked on the staffs of former Congressmen Earl Hilliard and Glen Browder. He is a former member of the Fairfield Board of Education.

Major has a bachelor's degree from UAB, he has an associate's degree from Jefferson State Community College, and a law degree from the Birmingham School of law.

"You can't do business, economic development or education or going in the area, unless you have a safe community," Major told the Alabama Reflector saying that he is concerned about crime.

Major also said that he supports Medicaid expansion, targeted funding to train healthcare workers, and public funding for homeschooling and private education.

Major on his Facebook page has accused his opponents of engaging in voter suppression.

According to original reporting by Birmingham Watch, LaTanya Millhouse is a community relations manager at Oak Street Health. She is also the senior program manager at the Alpha Omega Group, which fosters programs that promote community involvement, employment, training, education and healthy social behaviors. She is a former County chair for Movement Labs; was formerly a small business program manager for Operation HOPE; she formerly worked for the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity; the IRS, and the Jefferson County Commission. She was also first Black President of the Alabama Democratic Women.

Millhouse has a bachelor's degree in business admission from Huntingdon College. She also attended Western Kentucky University.

Eyricka L. Parker is the elected Treasurer of Jefferson County. She was disqualified for running for reelection as Treasurer so her term in that role ends in January.

Eyrika L. Parker is a lifelong Birmingham resident. She graduated from John Carroll Catholic High School in 1992. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of South Alabama and a law degree from Southern University Law Center.

Parker has worked in the Jefferson County Circuit Clerk's office, for South Trust Bank, in pharmaceutical litigation, as a bookkeeper, as the executive producer of radio and television shows and co-host of Alabama's oldest morning talk radio show.

Parker is very active in her community and has served on the Jefferson County Mural Committee, the Hopewell Revitalization Project, has prepared meals for local football and basketball teams, has sponsored and committed to local breast cancer awareness events, sponsored local events for Sickle Cell Awareness Month, fed more than 100 families on a monthly basis through efforts to combat homelessness and hunger and obtained abandoned properties to put to good use for nonprofit organizations.

Frank Woodson worked 20 years for UPS. More recently he has worked with "historically disadvantaged families and communities in central Alabama. In 2007, he became the Executive Director of Mission Birmingham, a faith-based community development organization that sought to be a physical demonstration of God's love to the community. After guiding Mission Birmingham into a successful venture with ADECA and HUD to help stabilize communities in Birmingham during the foreclosure crisis, Commissioner Woodson steered Mission Birmingham to play a significant role in Birmingham and throughout the state during the 2011 Alabama tornado outbreak disaster. Subsequently, Governor Robert Bentley appointed him to a Commissioner with the Alabama Service Commission. In 2011, Commissioner Woodson became Executive Director of Mission Birmingham Transformation Strategies in order to create strategic partnerships between the community of faith, corporate, government and our extensive community-based networks," (Woodson's campaign website).

"I am conservative with my values of family, caring for the widows, orphan and poor," Woodson said on his Facebook. "I'm liberal in charity and progressive in throwing out policies that don't put people first."

Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Remember to bring a valid photo ID to the polls to participate in an Alabama election. You also must vote at the polling place you are assigned. Be aware that the Miles College polling place has moved so voters there should look up where they are presently assigned. Call the Jefferson County Board of Registrars for more information.

If no candidate gets 50 percent plus one there will be a special primary runoff on July 16.

The eventual Democratic nominee will face Republican Carlos Crum in the special general election on October 1.

Rogers represented HD52 for 42 years. He and Rep. Fred "Coach" Plump (D-Fairfield) both pleaded guilty in a kickback scheme where the two of them and Rogers' ex-girlfriend conspired to defraud a youth baseball recreation league of $300,000. All three of the co-conspirators have agreed to plead guilty in the public corruption investigation led by the FBI.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandonmreporter@gmail.com

 

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