Rep. Thomas challenges Colston’s win

Published 8:24 am Thursday, June 24, 2010

By Eason Franklin
The Lowndes Signal

Despite beating the incumbent in votes on election day, David Colston now has to fight a state Democratic Party challenge by Rep. James Thomas to take office.

An election contest was filed by Thomas last week with the state Democratic party against Colston, citing absentee ballots problems.

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However, Rep. Colston expects to prevail over Rep. Thomas’s contest of Colston’s June 1 win in House District 69, according to his attorney Jerry Thompson.

Thompson, said he does not “think there is any merit to the contest and expects the Democratic Party to adhere” to Colston’s victory.

Thomas is challenging the June 1 election results saying it was an abnormality in the amount of absentee ballots cast that caused Colston’s win in the Democratic primary.

Colston, a former state trooper, prevailed over five other candidates on the ballot, obtaining 51 percent of the vote to Thomas’s 32 percent.

The district seat covers Lowndes and Wilcox counties and parts of Dallas and Autauga counties.

Thomas, the 30-year incumbent, claims 379 of the votes cast at the Hayneville Courthouse Annex were cast by people not registered at that precinct, or those votes were cast illegally and has posted $100 to secure the cost of the contest, according to the statement of contest presented to the Alabama State Democratic Executive Committee.

Thomas and Colston will appear before a sub-committee consisting of members from the State Democratic Executive Committee June 24 at 9 a.m. to present their cases.

The sub-committee traditionally seats five members appointed by State Democratic Party Chariman Joe Turnam, said Alabama Democratic Party Operations Director Brannon Walden.

To enter a runoff, Thomas would need to obtain 121 votes. Thomas could not be reached for comment.