Incumbent’s challenge erases Knox from ballot

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 9, 2004

Hale County Commissioner Lois Fields won a challenge Wednesday night, which removes a potential challenger to her seat on the commission.

Elijah Knox had qualified to run against Fields for the District 2 seat. Fields made a challenge April 2 to the Democratic Party in Hale County that Knox actually lived in District 1. He lives in Akron, Fields said Thursday.

A hearing before a party subcommittee was held Wednesday evening, said Robert Shepherd, chairman of the county party. Fields offered a copy of voter registration certified by Tammy Tarte, a member of the county Board of Registrars. Knox offered no evidence in his defense, the chairman said.

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There were no witnesses or exhibits presented before the subcommittee, and it voted in Fields’ favor. Knox argued that he had previously voted for District 2 candidates.

Shepherd said this would always be voter confusion as long as Hale County had four districts on the county commission and five districts represented on the county school board.

Fields will now not be opposed in the June 1 Democratic primary.

Knox said the Wednesday hearing would not be the last word on the matter, the chairman said. He can next appeal to the full Democratic Executive Committee of Hale County.

There will be no Republican opposition to Fields’ seat.

She has mixed emotions. “Any time you have a challenge like that you want to go to that person and explain why you’re doing it,” she said, “but sometimes you can’t because of the way they react. I didn’t want it to come to that.”

Fields said she still enjoys serving on the Hale County Commission. “In politics you’re going to have some people who are happy and some people who are disgruntled. I guess the majority (in her district) is not disgruntled.

“I really enjoy when I actually get something done. A lot of people think I enjoy fussing or whatever but I’m just trying to get my point across….I enjoy working for the people of my district.”