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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Candidates Find Court Races Appealing

The only vacant slot on the Court of Criminal Appeals attracted a new Republican candidate this week. And when I say "new Republican", I mean it literally. Longtime Democratic Circuit Judge Sam Welch is switching parties and running in the GOP primary for the seat currently held by Democrat (and Chief Justice candidate) Sue Bell Cobb.

Welch's judicial circuit takes in Conecuh and Monroe counties and given the Democratic leaning nature of that constituency, Welch probably had little choice to run as a Democrat. And now that he is running statewide he finds it expedient to run under the Republican banner.

Welch will not have the primary to himself, however. Clay Crenshaw and Beth Kellum have already filed and Alva Lambert is still weighing the race. Indeed, Crenshaw welcomed Welch to the race by publicly blasting Welch's handling of a 1996 capital murder trial. With a fractured primary field with no well-known frontrunner, this GOP primary looks to be headed to a runoff.

Democrats also found a candidate to run for Criminal Appeals Court this week. District Judge Aubrey Ford announced yesterday that he'd run for Place 1 against incumbent Republican Greg Shaw. Ford ran for the Court in 2000 also, but couldn't overcome the Bush/Moore landslide at the top of the ticket. But Ford has a compelling resume and hopes that 2006 will be a more hospitable election environment for Democrats.

Democrats are also touting the imminent entrance of another candidate for the Criminal Appeals Court. Presumably this new candidate would run for Place 2 against Kelli Wise as Democrat Deborah Bell Paseur seems to have staked out the primary for the open Place 3 seat.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam Welch has a solid record as a judge. Expect him to make a decent run.

11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welch? Another trial lawyer candidate in republican clothing ala Tom Parker? Time will tell.

2:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you really think alva lambert can withstand the scrutiny of a statewide judicial race?

2:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad Sam Welch has no principles. As long as he's a trial judge in a Democrat-leaning circuit, he's a Democrat. Once he decides to run statewide, he changes to a Republican. Whatever is politically expedient, right Sam?

4:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clay Crenshaw is the man. Can't get a better candidate for court of criminal appeals than the guy who fights off all the liberals trying to get murders off death row. He has the experience and quite frankly, if I can get personal, he will look great in that judicial robe. That is one good looking man.

5:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Clay, thanks for your input. Personally, I think you look a little like Mr. Drucker.

5:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welch changed parties when the local DA recruited someone to run against him. Welch is not well respected among the lawyers and needed to find a race to retain his judicial retirement plan. What a man of principles! Crenshaw will expose Welch as a judge unable to properly handle criminal trials since Welch has been reversed a number of times.

9:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

welch sounds like roger monroe and sharon yates... trough pigs!

10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the skinny on the Criminal appeals court races. Greg Shaw is a competent Judge, but for some reason his wife decided to run for office. The Democrats see that as a fatal flaw making him vulnerable and have a good candidate. Kelli Wise should be thankful for havinga a job that pays her 75% more than she's worth. It was not smart of Kelli to encourage her employee, Beth Kellum to run for Sue Bell's place and she has the same problem Greg Shaw has. The open seat is more interesting. It will come down to a run-off between Crenshaw and Welch. Troy King's support of Crenshaw will not help, but Welch has lots of problems and his campaign is not well organized.

11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crenshaw is definitely the man for the job. He is

12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crenshaw is a fine family man and a solid conservative. He is honest and hard working...someone who will make the people of our state proud. Please encourage others to support him.

12:13:00 PM  
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