Former Mobile Mayor and Mobile County Commissioner Sam Jones has confirmed to Lagniappe that he will be one of at least three Democratic candidates to run this year for the State House seat in District 99.

Jones joins local attorney Greg Harris and former Mobile County Circuit Court Judge Herman Thomas in a race for the Democratic nomination for the seat held by veteran state Rep. James Buskey, who announced in August his plans to retire at the end of the term.

Jones, who served two terms as mayor, called District 99 an “important seat” and said he hoped to use his years of experience in both city and county government to help serve the people of the district. Last year, Jones lost a bid to unseat incumbent Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

Thomas, who was indicted by the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office in 2009 on a number of charges primarily related to allegations of having sexual relations with prisoners, paddling them and transferring cases from other judges’ dockets to his own, announced his intention to run for the seat last month. The charges against Thomas were eventually thrown out by an appointed judge overseeing his trial, but he was disbarred from practicing law in Alabama and not been able to restore his law license despite multiple attempts.

Harris was a speaker at Jones’ mayoral campaign kickoff last summer. In a statement provided Wednesday, Harris said he seeks to protect education funding, secure access to healthcare and rebuild the workforce.

“Our economy is changing, as a result we must anticipate and respond to these changes by ensuring that businesses have access to the skilled workforce needed to thrive in Alabama,” he said. “We’ve had an
amazing and strong foundation laid down for us, and today it’s our responsibility to take the fruits of that hard-work to the next level, to ensure that those coming behind us have even more opportunities than we do today.”

The statewide primary election is Tuesday, June 5. The statewide general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.