After more than five months of campaigning and three elections, Mobile businesswoman Margie Wilcox became the newest female member of the Alabama House of Representatives Feb. 4 by beating Democrat Stephen Carr with roughly 90 percent of the vote. Wilcox, the owner of multiple private transportation companies including Yellow Cab, will complete a term vacated by Jim Barton that ends in November.
Yet, because the qualification period for challengers in the next election cycle ends Feb. 7, it is not year clear whether Wilcox will have to revamp her campaign to earn a full term.
“It feels great but I won’t really know whether I’ve reached the end until Friday,” Wilcox said, noting the qualification deadline. “I’ve had no indication I’ll have any opposition from a Republican but I can’t know until then.”
Carr, who congratulated Wilcox and praised her connection to the voters, said he has not decided whether to run again.
“I was outspent almost 30-to-1 and without state party support and some of the PACs looking to back us, it’s not the easiest thing to do,” he said.
Unofficially, about 3,238 voters, or 10 percent of the district’s electorate, voted in Tuesday’s election, which was delayed a week in the wake of winter weather. Wilcox is taking a ceremonial oath of office tomorrow for family and friends, but has been told by state officials she will be officially sworn in on the house floor Thursday.
“I plan on going to Montgomery tomorrow to get my bearings and my door key and my parking space,” she said. “The week-long delay felt like a month and I’m ready to work. Nobody ever heard of anybody winning by 90-and-half percent so it’s clear people want me as their representative and I’m happy to do it.”
Throughout her campaign and again on the night she was elected, Wilcox said homeowners insurance reform and streamlining business would be her priorities in the district.