PHENIX CITY, Ala.- Four candidates have qualified to run for the house seat that belonged to the late Lesley Vance.
Phenix City Council member, Chris Blackshear (R), James McGill of McBride-McGill Civil Engineering and Land Surveying (R), Tommy Pugh (R) and Kenicia Battle (D) of Phenix City all qualified before the 6 p.m. deadline.
The vacancy left by Vance’s passing called for a Special Election. Governor Robert Bentley set the Special Primary Election for Jan. 19 and the Special General Election for April 12.
Blackshear, who has served on Phenix City Council for the past three years says he has learned a lot in his time on council. He loves giving back to the community, but now he wants to give back on a greater level. He says getting out and talking with voters will help him build his platform, but he says it is all about the people. “I ask myself all the time, why would you ever wanna put yourself in this,?” Blackshear said. “It’s an opportunity to give back. I feel that everybody should find their niche, find somewhere where they can give back to people in their community and help. For me, I think politics has all of a sudden, the last three years become that avenue.”
James McGill was the Russell County Engineer for 27 years, has been involved in economic development for the last 16 years and has also worked in Lee County. He sees tremendous opportunities for growth in the districts and is excited to bring them together. “I’ve got the knowledge to do it,” McGill said. “I feel like I can bring all three communities together because House District 80 is in Russell, Phenix City and Lee which is unique and I’ve worked in all three.”
Both Blackshear and McGill say it is an honor to possibly follow in Vance’s footsteps and they say they will look at his work as a model for themselves.
As News 3 gets more information on the other candidates, we will bring it to you.