Mike Bolin is retired no more. The former Alabama Supreme Court justice has a new job as the newly elected District 5 representative on the Jefferson County Commission.
Bolin, 74, of Vestavia Hills received 5,728 votes, or 59% of the total, in Tuesday’s special election, while developer David Silverstein, 67, of Mountain Brook amassed 3,924 votes, or 41%.
“I spent 35 years in the judicial branch of government,” Bolin said after learning of his victory. “Now I’ll be embarking on a quasi-executive-legislative branch of government. I’m anxious to work with the members of the commission, to be fiscally conservative (and) to work for the betterment of the whole county I was born in and I’ve always lived in and always will.”
Bolin said he never took a victory in this election for granted. “I’m surprised that I won, and the margin was very comforting to me,” he said. “It humbles me, to be honest with you.”
Silverstein wished Bolin success as he spoke to supporters at the Porch restaurant in Mountain Brook’s Crestline Village. He suggested that his political career may not be over.
“Am I going to give up? Hell no!” he exclaimed. “I look forward to standing before you again. I’m not announcing a candidacy, but there’s one senator, one U.S. senator, that does not represent the state.”
Bolin will complete the unexpired term of former District 5 Commissioner Steve Ammons, who stepped down to lead the Birmingham Business Alliance.
“Steve, I consider just a giant in the field of economic development,” the commissioner-elect said. “I really want to immerse myself in that to begin with. Steve is a really good guy. He’s got big shoes to fill. I’m going to do my best. I’ve got big feet; we’ll see how much I fill them.”
Bolin did not host a celebration Tuesday night, partly because of the passing Tuesday of the family’s 14-year-old Shih Tzu dog.
“It was a bittersweet day,” he said. “The good thing is we got 14 years of good memories because she was a sweet dog and a sweet member of our family.”
Bolin’s victory assures a Republican majority on the Jefferson County Commission will continue. He will serve alongside Republicans Jimmie Stephens (District 3) and Joe Knight (District 4) and Democrats Lashunda Scales (District 1) and Sheila Tyson (District 2).
Solomon Crenshaw Jr. reported this story for BirminghamWatch and the Hoover Sun.