The unofficial results are in from Baldwin County’s Republican primaries, and Huey “Hoss” Mack will retain his position as Sheriff.
The incumbent has held the position since 2007, which comes with a $95,000 salary and a four-year term.
Excluding provisional votes, Mack took a commanding lead early and wound up with 65 percent of the votes cast in the county — 15,276 to be exact.
Mack’s closest contender was Jeff Dunn, who received 4,912 votes. Dunn is an investigator with the District Attorney’s office in Baldwin County.
“During the election we noticed a lot of enthusiasm even though the turnout was low in Baldwin County,” Mack said. “As the county continues to grow, we’re going to continue plans to address that growth and any potential increase in crime that might come with it.”
Mack said the situation with “Spice,” or marijuana analog, in neighboring counties is a big concern of the department as is an issue with overcrowding at the Baldwin County Jail.
In his next four years, Mack also plans to continue developing an antidrug program in the county’s schools.
The three races for seats on the Baldwin County Commission resulted in two clear victors and one runoff election in District 2.
Incumbent Bob James will face one of his challengers, Chris Elliot, in a runoff election July 15.
With less than a percentage point between the two, James brought in 9,238 votes — only 141 more than Elliott, who tallied 9,097.
“Clearly the voters see a need for change in the District 2 commission space,” Elliot said.
“We will be that change.”
He said he and his campaign staff are absolutely confident heading into the runoff election in 45 days.
“This is a management position, and very simply the major difference is about personality and leadership style,” Elliott said. “We had a tremendous amount of support tonight from citizens, mayors and other elected officials. Clearly, they think we need a different type of management style on the commission.”
As of 11:21 p.m., James could not be reached for comment.
The other seats on the Baldwin Commission — District 3 and 4 — went to incumbents Tucker Dorsey and Charles “Skip” Gruber respectively.
Dorsey, who was elected in 2010, received 11,439 votes. His opponent, William McDaniel, only clinched 9,600.
As for District 4, Commission Chairman Gruber held on to his seat by a comfortable margin — defeating challenger Brock Wells 11,348 to 8,668.
“I’m just glad it’s over with,” Gruber said. “I appreciate the citizens that turned out today and had the confidence to reelect me. I’ve got a lot of experience within the county. I was an employee for more than 30 years, which helps me to understand what county government is like from both sides.”
Gruber, who will remain chairman until November, said that experience has guided his decision making as a commission member.
Recently, a bill approved by the Alabama Legislature raised the commissioners’ pay, which is now based on the state’s median income of approximately $43,160.
The exact dollar figure has yet to be locked down, but the chairman’s position, which is rotated, will continue to earn an additional $5,000 annually.
The Baldwin County Board of Education will see its own runoff between incumbent Elmer McDaniel and Tony Myrick in District 3.
McDaniel had more than 500 votes on Myrick. The two finished with 1,398 and 844 votes respectively.
“I’m looking forward to taking a break and then getting back at it,” McDaniel said. “We’re right in the middle of a challenging time in our system because of the growth we’ve seen in just about every feeder pattern. It’s a big problem, and I want to be a part of solving it.”
If he wins the runoff in July, McDaniel will serve his third term on the board.
In District 5, incumbent Angie Swiger barely squeaked by challenger Craig Stephenson with only 38 votes separating the two.
Excluding provisional ballots, Swiger took home 1,498 votes total. Stephenson was just behind her with 1,460.
“I’m very excited to serve another six years,” Swiger said. “We’ve done some incredible work during my tenure on the board, and I’m exited about continuing that.”
Elsewhere in the county, Cecil Christenberry took the seat in District 6 over his opponent Miranda Schrubbe.
The two earned 3,223 and 1,202 votes respectively by the time polls closed.
Christenberry said Schrubbe called to congratulate him before he was aware of his victory, which he said was indicative of a very clean race.
“This was a race between two wonderful people with the same heart about our children and our schools,” he said. “I’ve talked with her supporters, and I know we can come together as one united voice. I’m sure there will be debate, but we have the same end goal — the very best education for our students.”
Members of the Baldwin County Board of Education serve six-year terms and receive a $7,200 salary.
All election results will be certified after provisional ballots have been counted on June 10.
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