Polls open Tuesday for 2018 primary election

Published 2:36 pm Monday, June 4, 2018

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Three candidates seek Marengo County sheriff’s seat on Democrat ticket

Marengo County voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, June 5, for this year’s primary election that will determine candidates for the general election in November.

In addition to the statewide races, including governor, the primary election could also determine this year’s Marengo County sheriff’s race. With three candidates, it is possible that a runoff will be held.

Voters who wish to vote for sheriff will have to select a Democrat ballot as all three candidates in that race qualified as Democrats.

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Among the sheriff’s candidates is incumbent Richard Bates who was first elected in 2010. Bates served 20 years as military police followed by 18 years with the Marengo County Sheriff’s Office.

Richard Bates


“I have always believed in a fair and hones law enforcement agency for Marengo County and I want to continue serving the people of Marengo County as I have been for the past seven and a half years,” Bates said.

Bates is a resident of Miller and is married to the Rev. Carolyn Bates. He has four daughters, Latasha Love, Sara, Laura and Richell Bates.

Among the two challengers is James Jones who has over 22 years of law enforcement experience, from patrol officer to a lieutenant and patrol commander.

James Jones

“I chose to run for sheriff because I love law enforcement and Marengo County is my home,” Jones said. “My first priority as sheriff would be get approval from the county commission to hire more personnel, first and foremost deputies, but also nurses, dieticians, jail personnel and administrative support.”


Jones is a resident of Sweet Water and is married to Belinda Landrum Jones. He has four children and four grandchildren.

The third candidate is Clint Sumlin, who has served as commander of the 17th Circuit Drug Task Force for the past seven years, having also served as a police officer with the Uniontown, Marion, and Demopolis police departments as well as a MCSO deputy from 2006 to 2010.

Clint Sumlin

“I decided to run for sheriff after much thought, discussion and prayer. There is no greater honor than serving and protecting the people of your community. My first priority as sheriff would be to have more deputies to allow for full-time school resource officer, more patrols across the county, and establishing a K9 program. We will face budget problems in achieving this, but every problem has a solution,” he said.

Sumlin is a resident of Demopolis. He is the son of of Daniel and Rene Sumlin of Marion.

Democrat candidates for Marengo County Commission include: District 3 — John Crawford Jr. and Terry Hinton Sr.; and District 5 — Mark Davis, Pettis Lockett, Thomas Rodgers, and Michael Thompson.

In addition to the local sheriff’s race and district specific races, those voting on the Democratic ticket will also select from the following governor candidates: Sue Bell Cobb, Christopher Countryman, James Fields Jr., Walt Maddox, Doug Smith, and Anthony White.

Democrats running for Attorney General are Chris Christie and Joseph Siegleman.

Secretary of State candidates running as Democrats are Lula Albert and Heather Milam.

There are two races for the Alabama Democratic Executive Committee, one for female and the other for male.

Those chosing a Republican ticket for the primary election will find only statewide races.

Republican candidates for governor include Tommy Battle, Scott Dawson, Bill Hightower, Kay Ivey, and Michael McAllister.

Lt. Governor candidates on the GOP ballot are Will Answorth, Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and Rusty Glover.

Attorney General candidates are Chess Bedsole, Troy King, Steve Marshall and Alice Martin.

Following are other races on the Republican ballot.

Alabama Chief Justice: Tom Parker and Lyn Stuart

Associate Justice, Place 1: Debra Jones, Brad Mendheim, and Sarah Hicks Stewart

Associate Justice, Place 4: John Bahakel and Jay Mitchell

Court of Civil Appeals Judge, Place 1: Christy Olinger Edwards, Pat Thetford, and Michelle Manley Thomason

Court of Civil Appeals Judge, Place 2: Chad Hanson and Terri Willingham Thomas

Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, Place 1: Richard Minor and Riggs Walker

Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, Place 2: Rich Anderson, Chris McCool, and Dennis O’Dell

Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, Place 3: Donna Beaulieu and Bill Cole

Secretary of State: Michael Johnson and John Merrill

State Treasurer: David Black, Stephen Evans, and John McMillan

State Auditor: Stan Cooke, Elliot Lipinsky, and Jim Zeigler

Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries: Tracy Crane, Gerald Dial, Cecil Murphy, and Rick Pate

Public Service Commission, Place 1: Jim Bonner and Jeremy Oden

Public Service Commission, Place 2: Chris Beeker Jr. and Robin Litaker

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, June 2 issue of the Demopolis Times.)