AUBURN, Ala.- For Jay Conner, this is his first run at a state office. For him, the desire to run stems from the fact that he believes that the district can do better from a representation standpoint.
“Auburn is a really diverse population,” Conner said. “I think we’ve got different interests, different political interests, different cultural interests, just a different group of people that maybe haven’t been represented adequately over the years.”
Conner says he has the ability to work everyone in the district and can help form a consensus on the issues, as well as getting feedback from the voters. For him, some of the things he is most passionate about are fully supporting Auburn University, the local schools.
Conner, who grew up in the district knows and has done business with many folks in the area. He says he wants to not only represent his district, he wants to better the state.
“If we’re not working together as a team to develop our state, we’re going to feel the effects of that,” Conner said. “We’re going to suffer because some other parts of the state are not as dynamic in getting proper education dollars to their locales, and not supporting their education systems.”
Conner says he believes he can be the voice of those in the district. When asked about possibly filling Mike Hubbard’s seat, Conner says he is not worried about the past. He is instead focused on the future.
“I’ve moved past it myself, and I think the people of our district want to move past it. It was terrible what happened, and I don’t think it’s particularly useful to dwell on. I think we’re starting with a clean slate.”
Here is the breakdown for the special election process:
According to the proclamation released:
- A Special Primary Election shall be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2016. In the event that a Special Primary Election is not necessary, because the major parties each have only one candidate, the Special General Election shall be held on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.
- A Special Primary Runoff Election shall be held on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, if necessitated by one candidate not receiving a majority of the votes cast in the Special Primary Election for either major party.
- In the event that a Special Primary Runoff Election is not necessary, because one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast in the Special Primary Election for each major party, then a Special General Election shall be held on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. In the event a Special Primary Runoff Election is required to be held, then the Special General Election shall be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.
“The timeline that Governor Bentley announced will allow time for candidates to qualify and ensures that House District 79 has representation leading up to the 2017 Legislative Session,” said Secretary Merrill.
Candidates qualifying with major political parties should be advised that the last day for any candidate to qualify with their respective parties, regarding such election, will be Thursday, July 14, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. The two major political parties shall certify their qualified candidates to the Secretary of State as soon as possible after the qualification deadline but by no later than 12:00 p.m. on Friday, July 15, 2016.
All third-party candidates, independent candidates, and/or minor party candidates seeking ballot access are advised that their deadline for filing the appropriate notification, petitions, or supporting paperwork with the Secretary of State is September 13, 2016, at 5:00 p.m.
So far, Sandy Toomer, Brett Smith, Hal Walker, Joe Lovvorn and Jay Conner have announced their candidacy for the seat.