State representative contests June 1st primary

Rep. Thomas
Rep. Thomas

Posted by: Mark Bullock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A west Alabama state representative says there was something fishy going on in the June first primary. Now he's filing an official contest with the state democratic party.

Representative James Thomas, who lost re-election to David Colston, notified the party of his plans Wednesday.

Rep. Thomas represents house district 69, which includes Autauga, Dallas, Lowndes and Wilcox counties. Voters in those counties have re-elected him a number of times. He's been in the house for more than 30 years.

That's one reason he thinks its strange he would lose re-election by such a close margin. Just 121 votes kept him out of a run-off.

His lawyer tells WSFA 12 News there was an unusually high number of absentee ballots cast in the primary and an improbably low number undervotes recorded, which he alleges indicates election malconduct, fraud or corruption.

"Something just doesn't smell right. Something just doesn't sit right," said attorney Mark Sabel.

The state democratic party has scheduled a hearing on the issue June 24th at 9:00am at the Madison Hotel on Madison Avenue in downtown Montgomery.

"We stand by the integrity of the ballot box here at the Alabama democratic party," said party chairman Joe Turnham.

Turnham says Rep. Thomas will have the burden of proof at the hearing. The party will then decide if a recount is necessary.

If there is a recount, Rep. Thomas claims he would pick up enough votes to force a run-off.

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