Jefferson County Commission

2 Developers, Former Judge on Ballot for Open JeffCo Commission Seat

Probate Judge James Naftel III used a 1971 Lipton TV commercial — Is it soup yet? — to address the ballot to fill the vacant District 5 position on the Jefferson County Commission.

“It is soup. It is,” Naftel said Thursday. “We have three official candidates and one who didn’t have enough signatures, so her name will not appear on the ballot. The ballots are being printed and delivered to the absentee (voting office) today.”

District 5 voters will choose from recently retired Alabama Supreme Court Justice Mike Bolin, Jeff O. Wise and David Silverstein.

“Evidently, retirement didn’t suit him,” Naftel said, “so he’s running for District 5.”

Silverstein and Wise are developers.

Silverstein is a principal with Bayer Properties and president of The FiveStone Group. He is a developer whose projects have included The Summit and the Pizitz building in downtown Birmingham.

Wise handles commercial and residential developments. One of his more recent projects is Letson Farms in McCalla.

“We had one potential candidate (Antiqua Cleggett) who filed right at the last minute on Tuesday (the qualifying deadline),” Naftel said. “It took “Wednesday) to review the signatures on that candidate’s petition and determine that there were not enough signatures from District 5 voters for her to qualify.”

Each aspiring candidate had to submit a petition signed by at least 100 persons who live in the district they hope to represent.

The election to fill the District 5 seat will be July 18.  A runoff, if needed, will be Aug. 8.

Most District 5 polling places are the same for the special election as regular elections, but five were changed.

Hoover Senior Center is under renovation, so those persons will vote at Hoover Recreation Center, which is basically next door. Fullness Christian Fellowship is hosting Vacation Bible School; its voters will cast their ballots at Shades Mountain Community Church.

Mountain Brook Community Church is also having Vacation Bible School. Those voters will vote at Cahaba Heights Baptist Church. Edgewood Elementary School is undergoing a lot of renovations this summer. Those residents are going to vote at Homewood Library.

Each voter affected by the above changes received a card from the Board of Registrars, telling them where to vote in the special election.