18-year-old clinches Geneva County commission seat

18-year-old clinches Geneva County commission seat
18-year-old Weston Spivey recently clinched the Republican primary race for District 1's seat in Geneva County. With no Democratic candidate to face in November, Spivey has clinched the seat. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

GENEVA COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Think back to what you were doing at 18 years old. It probably wasn't preparing to serve as a county commissioner.

It's a different story for 18-year-old Weston Spivey, who recently clinched the Republican primary race for District 1's seat in Geneva County. With no Democratic candidate to face in November, Spivey has clinched the seat.

"Sometimes you need energy and that energy comes from a slightly younger candidate like me," he said.

Spivey beat incumbent Bryan Hatton by a slim margin. With 80 percent of precincts reporting, only 74 votes separated the two. The win makes him potentially the youngest commissioner in the state.

"It's a statement that our county wanted change and it's time for change," said Spivey.

According to the Association of County Commissions in Alabama, they don't keep track of age records for commissioners, but because the minimum age to run is 18 years old, he's the youngest they know of. Campaigning is already tough, and Spivey says running as a younger candidate brought its own challenges.

"I can't tell you how many 'no''s I got," he said. "People tell me there's no way you'll stand a chance - very reputable people tell me that. It motivated me."

Spivey's spent years working with his family's bison business, getting experience he says will translate into serving the county as commissioner.

"I think you need a businessman in this seat who can go out and recruit economic development," he said.

And growing Geneva County's economy and improving its infrastructure are priorities for Spivey. It's also what got local voters excited about him running for office.

"He has a fire in his gut and that's what we need," said Calvin Losh, owner of Big Red Metals in Malvern.

Losh says as a business owner he sees the potential in Geneva County and in Spivey he see someone who will take action with that potential.

"The grass grows where you water it," he said. "I'm ready for somebody to get in and water this grass and make District 1 profitable."

Spivey says he's not sure if he will serve longer than one term in office; his goal was just to begin to make changes in the county.

"The label politician doesn't fit me," Spivey said. "I'm just a guy who has a financial stake and wants our county to do well."

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