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Ivey appoints Carolyn Henderson to county commission seat

Carolyn Henderson new com

Shown in 2013, Carolyn Henderson, left, holds a Bible as her husband, Eli, was sworn in as Calhoun County Circuit Clerk in January that year. Mrs. Henderson on Thursday was appointed to fill the county commission seat left vacant when her husband died last month.

Carolyn Henderson, wife of former Calhoun County Commissioner Eli Henderson, has been appointed to take her late husband’s seat on the board, she said Thursday evening. 

“It just came from the governor’s office; she had to sign it. It was only about 30 minutes ago,” Henderson said about 4 p.m. “She said it was effective immediately.” 

According to Gov. Kay Ivey, who signed the appointment, Henderson will be the first female commissioner in Calhoun County history. 

Henderson said she had asked to fill the District 3 seat after her husband died last month due to COVID-19. Through help from the commission and local legislative delegates, she said, she was able to secure the spot. Henderson said she hoped to be sworn in Monday, though there would not be much pomp to the ceremony, owing to the circumstances that led to the vacancy, she said. 

Henderson was overcome with emotion as she explained her reasons for requesting the job — among them, her 55-year marriage. 

“I want to make sure that his legacy goes on and that Eli Henderson is never forgotten,” she said. 

She will serve out her husband’s term; the next election for county commission is in 2022. 

Henderson isn’t new to county offices. She was a county registrar for 24 years — resigning Thursday, “about 15 minutes ago,” when she spoke by phone — and has been a part of Henderson’s many projects and deals over the years, including the installation of water lines in the Wellborn area and the purchase of land at Janney Furnace. 

She said she wanted everyone to know that the people her husband had loved would be able to count on her.

“Eli loved ’em,” Henderson said, “and I want them to know that I love them, too.”