Talladega County residents will head to the polls Tuesday to vote not only for president and vice president of the United States, but also for various state, district and local offices, including County Commission, county Board of Education and 15 constables.
Talladega County has 18 constables already, with three not being up for re-election this year. Unfortunately, of the 15 positions up for grabs this year, only four people have qualified.
In Beat 5, Democrat Vann Caldwell is the only candidate, while Republicans Doyle Johnson, Debbie Garner and Jaddy McDaniel face open fields in Beats 9, 10 and 11, respectively.
According to John Bennett, director of communications for the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office, the beats with no candidates could be filled by write-in votes.
“The write-in candidate that gets the most votes, assuming that they are qualified and willing to serve, would be elected,” he explained.
“It appears to us that in the event that any of the precincts failed to write in a candidate, it would then be open for the governor to appoint a constable in those places.”
In the 2012 constable race for Beat 12, there were actually three candidates, forcing a runoff that was eventually won by Luther Barnett. Beat 12 covers Childersburg, Bon Air and Oak Grove.
That same year, the Beat 11 seat went to Republican Herschel Bryan Morgan, who ran unopposed. A year later, Morgan pleaded guilty to sodomizing a teenaged boy during the 1990s.
In Talladega County, the constable’s primary responsibility is serving court papers. They are paid a set amount for each document they serve.