Race for state District 4 seat headed to runoff

·3 min read

May 25—To secure a second consecutive four-year term to the state House of Representatives, incumbent Parker Duncan Moore will face challenger Patrick Johnson in a runoff for the District 4 Republican nomination.

The 33-year-old Moore of Hartselle was leading the three-candidate race with 43.5% of the vote cast Tuesday, according to unofficial results. The runoff will take place June 21.

"We are going to treat this like a whole new election. We look forward to meeting more of the voters and hearing about their concerns," said Moore, who expressed surprise at the reported low turnout. "We're hearing that 9-to-10% of registered voters turned out to vote. I think a lot of people are shocked that it was such a poor turnout, especially considering we had an open congressional seat."

Moore campaigned on infrastructure improvements, including the widening of Alabama 20 in Limestone County and a third bridge across the Tennessee River, mental health services and teacher retention.

A desire to increase the district's presence at the state level spurred the 45-year-old Johnson to run for the District 4 seat.

Previously a chairman of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club of Decatur president, Johnson, a Decatur insurance agent, ran on a pro-business and infrastructure improvement platform.

"We're pleased with the results and had a good volunteer base. To have never run an election before, I think we've got our legs under us now and will work hard until June 21," Johnson said.

Johnson received 36% of the vote. The race's third candidate, Sheila Banister of Madison, had 20%. A candidate needed more than 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff.

District 4 includes portions of Morgan, Limestone and Madison counties. Cities and towns in the district include Southeast Decatur, eastern Hartselle, Priceville and western Madison. No Democrat is running for the District 4 seat.

In other state House races, challenger 40-year-old Ernie Yarbrough of Trinity unseated Proncey Robertson, of Mount Hope, who was seeking a second consecutive term as District 7 representative. Yarbrough secured 54% of the vote with provisional ballots uncounted.

"We are elated, relieved, excited and exhausted and are working hard for the general election in November," Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough will face Moses Jones Jr., who went unopposed on the Democratic ticket, in the general election on Nov. 8.

"My desire is to increase in the hearts of people a love for freedom, for each other and for liberty. I want to make Alabama local again and am for conservative, common sense principle solutions," Yarbrough said.

The district includes Lawrence County, eastern Colbert County and a small section of northwest Morgan County in the Trinity area.

The race to represent District 2, which includes eastern Lauderdale County and western Limestone County, appeared to be headed for a runoff. With provisional ballots uncounted, three candidates, Jason Spencer Black of Athens, Ben Harrison of Cartwright, and Kimberly Butler of Sheffield, were within 192 votes of each other. Black had 3,088 votes, Butler had 3,083 and Harrison had 3,275. No Democrat is running for the District 2 seat.

Representatives earn $53,956 per year.

cgodbey@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2441. Twitter @DecaturLiving.