There’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Mark Pettway.
The Democratic nominee unseated the incumbent to become the first black sheriff in Jefferson County. Hale has been in office since 1998.
“It’s a great day and I’m glad,” Pettway said after receiving a congratulatory phone call from Hale. “We started this journey in January and we’re right here with all the naysayers on the sideline.
Asked what set him apart from Hale, Pettway said he understood what the issues really were.
“The issue was school safety,” Pettway said Tuesday night at Henderson’s in Midfield. “The issue was making sure we bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. The issue is trying to help those who are incarcerated. We want to stop the revolving door. I understood the issues.”
Pettway, who worked in the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said Hale “stole” his issue of school safety as he put Sheriff’s deputies into Jefferson County schools.
“It wasn’t until October that he had enough officers for the schools,” Pettway said. “That should have been done before school started. He’s been in there 20-something years. He should have had a plan already implemented before school started.”
With almost 98 percent of the vote counted late Tuesday, Pettway had won the race with 51.39 percent of the vote to Hale’s 48.55 percent.
In another upset, Democrat Danny Carr has been elected district attorney for the county, unseating incumbent Republican Mike Anderton 56.72 percent to 43.24 percent. Carr also is the first black district attorney elected in the county, WBHM reported.
Incumbent Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight, a Republican, kept his job, beating challenger J.T. Smallwood with 62.3 percent of the votes to Smallwood’s 37.67 percent. Knight’s District 4 seat was the only one up for grabs Tuesday. The other seats were not contested in the general election.
In the Jefferson County Board of Education Place 2 race, incumbent Martha Bouyer, a Democrat, lost her seat to Republican challenger Eddie Brown with 43.36 percent of the vote to 56.56 percent.
Many other county races were on the ballot, including district and circuit court judgeships. You can find complete Jefferson County results here. The information will not load into some internet browsers. Use the Explorer browser for best results.