Absentee voting begins in state senate run-off election

John Knight talks to voters of District 27

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A run-off election for state senate is less than a month away to determine which democrat will move on to the general election the district 26 seat.

John Knight faces David Burkette for the democratic nomination for the senate seat vacated by Quinton Ross when he became president of ASU.

Although this run-off election will not take place until Tuesday, February 27, absentee voting is already open. Montgomery County Circuit Clerk Tiffany McCord says they have seen a decrease already in participation in comparison to the primary back in December which happened to fall on the same day as the election for united states senate which drew lots of voters.

"Coach" David Burkette, who is serving his third term as councilman for District 4, is ready to take his experience in city government to a state level.

"I will continue to be transparent, hands on, and accessible, I am committed to my constituents as a city councilman but as a senator I can provide so much more," Burkette said.

If elected, economic development and prison reform will top his list of priorities, but that isn't all. As an educator for more than 30 years and current law student, he says education is also important.

"I am an advocate for more funding," Burkette said. "I just want to be able to make certain the educational budget is strengthened. It would only strengthen it by bringing economic development and bringing in new infrastructure."

Also vying for the same seat is John Knight. Since 1993 Knight has served in the Alabama House of Representatives.

"I have a proven record in terms of accomplishments in this city on the things of economic development," Knight said. "People know I have worked real hard to bring the community together on racial lines and party lines."

With 105 member of the house and 35 members of the senate, Knight believes he will be able to be more effective in bringing more jobs to the state, doing something about the tax structure and corrections system.

"I am for a corrections program. Not for a prisons program," Knight said. "That is something you really need to address in this legislature so you can help some of these people who are incarcerated."

County leaders will need every eligible voter to hit the polls, but it's not looking that way so far. Montgomery County Circuit Clerk Tiffany McCord says the absentee voting numbers look much different than it did before the December special election.

"We had thousands come out and vote. Right now we are at 16," McCord said.

The biggest factor in change is the democratic primary election for district 26 fell on the same day as the election for united state senate.

"Senate District 26 is a huge district and a lot of people are affected and we don't want an election to be decided by 16 people," McCord said.

The last day to absentee vote is February 22, which is five days prior to the election day. The winner of the run-off will face Republican Darrell "DJ" Johnson in the general election for this seat, which is set for Tuesday, May 15.

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