Friday, January 6, 2012

Franklin Probate Judge's Race to be Hotly Contested

When Mike Green (pictured at right) was elected for his second term as Franklin County Probate Judge in 2006, no one suspected it would last only four months. Green was just 54 when a heart attack ended both his life and many of the plans he had to modernize local government in the mainly rural northwestern Alabama county.

Gov. Bob Riley set up a committee to find a replacement for Green, receiving 14 applications for the position. The committee soon narrowed the field to six, including Green's wife Connie who garnered the support of hundreds of voters via petition.

Less than one month after Green's death, Riley appointed Barry Moore as his replacement. Now Moore is running on the Republican ticket for his first full term.

Moore is a Franklin County native and 1990 graduate of the University of North Alabama. He's married to the former Deedra Seele, with whom he has an 11 year-old daughter. The owner of a Russellville tool company, Moore previously served 23 years in the Alabama Army National Guard.

However, the well-liked Moore won't be without opposition, at least on the Democratic side. Russellville realtor Stratt Byars, currently a member of the Franklin County Commission, is expected to announce his candidacy officially within the next few weeks.

From his bio: Stratt is married to Connie Byars and has three children, Stratt, Anna, and Conner. Stratt was born and raised in Franklin County and he and his family live in the Saints Crossroads Community. Stratt is a graduate of Russellville High School and graduated from The University of North Alabama with a B.S. in Management. Stratt is currently serving as a County Commissioner for Franklin County and also is a Real Estate Agent with Davis Realty & Assoc., Inc. Byars is also President of Y.E.S. (Youth, Employment, Seniors) of Franklin County.

The home of Alabama Senate Minority Leader Roger Bedford, Franklin County has always been strongly Democratic. This race could prove to be much more of a toss up than the also sure to be entertaining race for mayor of Russellville.


Bailey's Bailiwick: I'm not a psychologist and I don't even play one on television. Still I'm pretty sure of the kind of persons Ron Wikkid Weems and his happy henchmen are. I'm pretty sure they all lived a life of drugs and yes sex and rock'n'roll, or would that be hip-hop? Jobs sure didn't seem to be at the top of their list.

At last count Weems had six kids by three different women and wasn't supporting any of them. But of course he had that heart condition and all. Wanna bet he regularly took money from Laurel who worked part-time as a cashier? Maybe from his mother too. Didn't she have some kind of disability? Apple Ron may not have dropped too far from the tree there.

But after reading about Ashley Greenhill, I'm almost ready to give Ron a pass. After all he may not have supported his kids, but at least he was never arrested for biting them all over their bodies. Whoever commented these refugees from the funny farm weren't MENSA material sure got that right.

Now let's hope a grand jury indicts Ron for a capital crime and manages to get Ashley in on the deal as well. I'm sure whoever has Ashley's two kids would love to see her down south for at least the next 20 years. Neither one deserves any less.


THE SHOALS DEMOCRATIC CLUB will meet on Monday, January 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Steelworkers' Union Hall on Wilson Dam Road in Muscle Shoals. A light meal will be served at 6 p.m. Speaker for the meeting is Charlie Holley, Democratic Candidate for Congress from the 5th District. The public is invited to attend. For Additional Information, please email or call 256.412.9966.


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