Two of three incumbent candidates for the Jefferson County Commission were pushed into runoffs in primary elections Tuesday.
District 2 Commissioner Sandra Little Brown and District 1 Commissioner George Bowman must fend off challengers in July.
Brown found herself in a virtual dead heat against Birmingham City Councilor Sheila Tyson. In unofficial results, Brown amassed 9,240 votes, or 46.52 percent, and Tyson followed with 9,181 (46.22 percent). Richard Dickerson had 1,441 votes (7.26 percent).
“I figured it would be she and I,” Brown said in a telephone interview after gathering with supporters at her T-shirt business. “She (Tyson) gets to tell her side and I get to tell the real side when it comes to the business of the county.”
Brown said she had “not told her truth enough.” She went on to say debates will set the two apart.
“She can ask me questions, I can ask her questions and the public can ask us questions,” Brown said. “I want the public to hear from the both of us, (her) giving whatever she calls it and me giving the facts of the county.”
Tyson met with supporters at 4 Seasons Bar and Grill downtown. She said the primary went about how she expected.
Tyson said the incumbent was “backed by the Republican Party” and funded by “Wall Street bankers.” She said the runoff will allow citizens to “wipe their eyes and see clearly through all of the commercials and all the media.”
“They’ll open their mail and look at their bills and snap back into reality,” the councilwoman said. “Their sewer bills, their medical bills … I really don’t think they’re paying attention to it but we’ll definitely make them aware of it.”
Lashunda Scales, Tyson’s fellow Birmingham City Council member, had the top showing in District 1. Her unofficial total was 8,448 votes (42 percent). Bowman had 4,996 votes (25 percent) to claim his spot in the July runoff.
Midfield Mayor Gary Richardson had 3,677 votes (18 percent) and Eric Major had 2,877 (14 percent) in that race.
Stephens Takes District 3
District 3 Commissioner Jimmie Stephens knocked off challenger Rodney Watson. The commission president had 10,650 votes (80.51 percent) and Watson tallied 2,578 (19.49 percent).
District 5 Goes to Ammons
The District 5 race went to former Vestavia Hills City Councilman Steve Ammons. He outpolled Alabama Rep. Jack Williams 7,975 votes (62.23 percent) to 4,840 (37.77).
Mark Pettway had the top showing in the race to be the Democratic candidate for Jefferson County Sheriff, garnering 26,331 votes (43 percent). He’ll face Wilson Hale, who got 15,771 votes (26 percent), in a runoff.
Wallace Anger Jr. followed with 11,391 votes (18 percent), and Heath Boackle had 8,089 votes (13 percent).