Howell, Forbus, Davis win local elections
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Political signs have dotted the county’s landscape for months leading up to the election, with more signs being placed in prominent areas, such as polling locations, just before Tuesday’s election. Photo by Christa Jennings
By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
Following Tuesday’s general election, Coosa County voters selected who would represent them for the next four years at the local level and beyond.
However, less than half of the county’s eligible voters made those decisions. The county’s voter turnout for Tuesday was 47.28%, with 3,860 ballots being cast out of the county’s 8,164 registered voters.
While this was a higher turnout than May’s general election, which saw a countywide turnout of 33.92%, it is a decrease from the last two general elections.
In the 2020 general election, which was a presidential election, the county had a voter turnout of 65.6%. Compared to the same type of election this year, the 2018 midterm general election saw a turnout of 52.89%.
Despite being relatively low at less than half of registered voters, the county’s turnout for Tuesday was still higher than the statewide turnout. Across Alabama, unofficial results reflected a voter turnout of just 38.50%.
Out of those who did come out to vote, the county had 800 straight-party Democratic ballots cast, or 31.39%; 1,731 straight-party Republican ballots cast, or 67.93%; and 17 straight-party Libertarian ballots cast, or 0.66%. Additionally, votes for Libertarian candidates were cast in every one of the county’s 12 polling locations or precincts for in-person votes, as well as on absentee ballots.
The precinct with the highest voter turnout was Equality, which had 57.83% turnout with 351 ballots cast. The next highest turnouts were in Hanover with 54.08% turnout and Richville with 53.23% turnout.
The precinct with the lowest voter turnout was Goodwater with a turnout of only 38.28%. Despite having the lowest turnout, Goodwater had the second most ballots cast with 542 total ballots out of its 1,416 registered voters, coming in second behind Stewartville with 548 ballots cast.
Known as the largest Democratic voting precinct in Coosa County, Goodwater’s voters cast 301 straight-party Democratic ballots compared to its 95 straight-party Republican Party ballots.
Despite that, nearly half of Goodwater’s voters opted to vote Republican in the sheriff’s race, with 46.13% of those votes going to the Republican candidate, 250 of the 542 ballots cast.
Many local races were uncontested on the ballot for this election. This included three County Commission seats, two Board of Education seats and county coroner.
Only three county races were contested going into the general election, and those were for sheriff, County Commission District 1 and County Commission District 3.
In the sheriff’s race, incumbent Sheriff Michael Howell, Republican, won a second term in office with 2,868 votes, or 84.15%. Independent Joshua Jones received 526 votes, or 15.43%.
That race also included a total of 14 write-in votes and 451 undervotes. An undervote occurs when voters choose not to vote the allotted number of votes in any one contest or when no selection is made for a single-choice contest.
In contested elections, undervotes can be viewed as active voter disaffection, when the individual is engaged enough to cast a ballot, but not willing to give the vote to any candidate in certain races, in which cases it can be taken as an abstention.
Following his loss Tuesday, Jones stated, “The election did not turn out as we had hoped, but I would like to take this moment to thank each and every one of you who supported and encouraged me during this entire process. Those of you who helped me at the polls, let me put my signs on your property and spent countless hours helping with my campaign, you have my heartfelt thanks! Our fight is far from over, and I am looking forward to the next four years and your continued support in 2026.”
For County Commission District 1, Republican John Forbus won the race with 462 total votes, or 71.29%. Independent Jerry Sewell received 184 votes, or 28.39%. That race also had two write-in votes and 83 undervotes.
Following the results, Forbus said, “District 1, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for supporting me through the primary election and the general election. I look forward to serving Coosa County for years to come!”
In the County Commission District 3 race, Democrat Brandon Davis won the seat with 423 votes, or 56.40%. Republican Ken Whitehead received 327 votes, or 43.60%. That race had no write-in votes and only four undervotes.
Following his win Tuesday, Davis stated, “I give God all the praise for He is truly the head of my life. I appreciate everyone in Coosa County’s District 3 for supporting me, believing in me and entrusting me to lead and help make a positive impact on our district. I look forward to working alongside the other four county commissioners to make the needed changes in our communities so that they are a better place for future generations. May God bless the citizens of Coosa County, and I love you all.”
In the uncontested County Commission races, there were 18 write-in votes and 179 undervotes for District 2, 16 write-in votes and 105 undervotes for District 4 and five write-in votes and 35 undervotes for District 5.
The three incumbent commissioners and two newly-elected commissioners will take office next week.
The County Commission will meet Wednesday, November 16, at 8:30 a.m. at the E-911 building in Rockford. The commissioners will take their oaths of office and be sworn in at that time, and the regular County Commission meeting will follow.
Regarding the uncontested Board of Education races, District 2 had 13 write-in votes and 180 undervotes, while District 5 had no write-in votes and 51 undervotes.
Incumbent Board Member Tiffany McCain and newly-elected member Jenny Kimbrell will also be sworn into office next week.
The oaths of office for them will be administered at 4 p.m. next Friday, November 18, with the Board of Education meeting to follow at 4:30 p.m. Both will be held in the boardroom at the central office in Rockford.
Following Tuesday’s election, on Wednesday the county’s Canvassing Board met to conduct the write-in vote analysis for each local office. However, the numbers of write-in votes cast for any one office did not equal or exceed the number required for the write-ins to be printed and counted, so those were not reviewed individually.
Tuesday’s results are currently the county’s unofficial election results. The Board of Registrars received five provisional ballots and as of press time were going through their investigation process to determine which of the five, if any, will be eligible to be counted.
Any eligible provisional ballots will be counted Tuesday at 12 p.m., at which time they will be added to the county’s tabulated results. Following that, the Canvassing Board will certify the results, and the county’s election results will then be official.
See next week’s edition for any added numbers from the provisional ballots and an overview of the county’s official results.
For information on the statewide races and how Alabama voted, visit www.alabamavotes.gov.
For a precinct-by-precinct breakdown of how Coosa County voted, see the chart on page __.