The 2018 election cycle features statewide campaigns for governor, the Legislature, attorney general and other positions. Locally, county commissions, sheriffs, judges and coroners will be elected. The primary election is June 5, with runoffs July 17. The general election is Nov. 6. Qualifying for the election closes at 5 p.m. on Feb. 9.
Thus far, five candidates have announced their intent to succeed Baldwin County Probate Judge Tim Russell, who will have “aged out” of his position this year. To serve on a court, state law requires judges be under age 70 at the time of election.
Last week, State Rep. Matt Fridy of Shelby County introduced legislation to increase the age limit to be elected or appointed to a judicial office from 70 to 75. The bill is pending in the House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee.
Baldwin County Probate Court is responsible for all deeds and records, commitments, adoptions, guardianships, conservatorships and licenses. Russell said he presided over 1,600 cases last year in courtrooms in Bay Minette, Fairhope and Foley. The court generated around $40 million in fees and revenue in 2017, he said, a source of income for the Baldwin County Commission.
Currently, the candidates qualified to appear on the ballot include:
• Harry D’Olive, a sixth-generation Baldwin Countian who currently lives in Spanish Fort with his wife and their daughter. He has served as a deputy sheriff and as mayor and councilman in Silverhill.
D’Olive graduated high school from Bayside Academy and earned a bachelor’s in criminal justice from the University of South Alabama. He graduated from the Southwest Alabama Police Academy and served 15 years with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office. He also served as a court police officer with the 13th Judicial Circuit Court Police in Mobile for three years, and was assigned to the Probate Court section. He later returned to law school and graduated from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in 2000.
D’Olive currently serves as a Baldwin County Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Child Support Division. However, he was in private practice for approximately 14 years where he specialized in probate and real estate Law. He also served as prosecutor for Bay Minette Municipal Court for 12 years. D’Olive also served as a deputy attorney general for the Alabama Department of Transportation in order to handle condemnation proceedings in Probate Court.
• Max Hansen, according to a statement, is president and CEO of B.L.I. Inc., the Daphne-based private investigative firm he founded in 1990. A U.S. Army veteran, Hansen served as an investigator for the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office, as a deputy and investigator with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and as an officer with the Daphne Police Department prior to launching his own business.
A lifelong resident of Baldwin County, Hansen is a graduate of University Military School and the University of South Alabama. He is married to the former Lisa Ann Bradford of Gulf Shores. They have two children, Ann and Hunter. A former Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America, Hansen also coached Daphne Little League baseball for 13 years. He and his family are members of St. James Episcopal Church in Fairhope.
• Alan Lipscomb, according to his campaign website, is a lifelong resident of Baldwin County, having grown up in Fairhope and graduated from Fairhope High School in 1974. He graduated from the University of South Alabama in 1978 and Cumberland School of Law in 1994. He has been in private practice in Baldwin County since that time.
Lipscomb’s practice is concentrated in probate, dealing with guardianships, conservatorships and adoptions, and he is experienced in commercial and residential real estate transactions.
Other areas of concentration include an active practice dealing with wills, estates, trusts, elder law issues and consumer bankruptcy. He served as legal counsel for the Baldwin County Board of Realtors. He is a member of the Alabama Bar Association and the Baldwin County Bar Association.
Lipscomb has also been active in local charitable organizations, having served as counsel and on the board of directors of Eastern Shore Affordable Housing Inc., and is currently the director of St. Joseph’s Way Inc., a local organization that helps provide low-income housing for those in need. As a hobby, he writes children’s stories and is a published author.
• Matthew McKenzie is the youngest of six children born to Elroy McKenzie Jr. and Charlotte McCue Vilain of Fairhope. He attended Fairhope public schools and graduated from Gulf Coast Academy in Mobile in 1988. He served five and a half years in the United States Marine Corps.
While serving his country overseas, McKinzie decided on a career in law enforcement, enrolling in the South West Alabama Police Academy. After graduating, he went to work as a city police officer in Eufaula and one year later became an Alabama State Trooper, where he served for 20 years as a highway patrol officer, a hearing officer and a fraud investigator. He currently serves as the Post Commander for the Mobile District Driver License Office; which includes Mobile, Baldwin, Choctaw, Washington, Clarke, Monroe, Escambia and Conecuh counties.
McKenzie, his wife and two daughters enjoy spending time on their small farm and tending to their animals.
• James “Lynn” Perry, a partner at Daniell, Upton and Perry P.C. in Daphne, said he believes his 29 years in law practice, providing counsel to clients in areas such as contracts, wills and trusts as well as real property matters, gives him the needed experience for the position.
Perry received his business degree from Mississippi State University and his law degree from Mississippi College School of Law. He is actively involved in the Baldwin County Bar Association and the Alabama State Bar Association, where he also serves as a Bar Commissioner for the district.
Perry was selected as a Super Lawyer and is A-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards. In addition, he is board certified in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and in Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy by the National Board of Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy.
Perry and his wife have two children. They attend Spanish Fort United Methodist Church and are involved in numerous civic and locally sponsored family activities.