County GOP holds candidate forum

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Candidates and supporters gather prior to the Escambia County Republican Party meeting Monday afternoon at B&T's Barbecue in Atmore.|Photo by Chandler Myers

Installation of a new member and a candidate forum were the highlights of the Escambia County Republican Party meeting Monday night at B&T’s BBQ on Hwy. 31 in Atmore.

Current Republican candidate for Sheriff Heath Jackson participated in both events as the group accepted him as the newest member of the county’s Republican Party.

Before the forum began, Jeff Peacock, chairman for the Escambia County Republican Party, spoke on the upcoming election and how important it is to vote.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Peacock said that everyone needs to keep in mind that the primary vote is around the corner on June 1.

“First, the primary is June 1,” Peacock said. “We have to keep this in mind because this year it falls on the day after Memorial Day, so we have to remember to go out and vote. If you are unable to vote because you will be out of town, I encourage you to vote through an absentee ballot.”

Following Peacock was Escambia County Republican Party Treasurer Mike Watson who informed the group about absentee ballots.

Watson said that instructions must be followed precisely for the ballot to count.

“The absentee ballot process happens through the office of Ken Taylor,” Watson said. “You have to register for the primary first and you must do that by this Friday, May 21. Any mail-in registration must be postmarked by Friday. Absentee ballots can be applied for until May 27, and you must follow the steps to a tee, so that it is done correctly and will be counted.”

Following the reminder to vote candidates were allowed to speak about their platform.

The county’s two Republican candidates for Sheriff were present at the meeting with Jackson and his opponent Lloyd Albritton each explaining how they would handle the position.

Albritton won the coin toss and elected to speak first explaining how he would help the county.

Albritton said that if he were elected as sheriff he would go out into the community find out what was wrong and help build it up.

“It all starts with family,” Albritton said. “Things fall apart when families fall apart. As sheriff, I would step out into the community to find out what the problems with this county were, so I could help make moves to fix them. I believe the sheriff in this county could be a poster boy for the Republican Party.”

In his own five minutes on the floor, Jackson told the party members how he would handle the every day role of Escambia County Sheriff.

Jackson said he would make sure to split his time evenly between the cities as well as fight the county’s drug problem.

“My big focus has always been narcotics,” Jackson said. “I’ve dealt with it for the last nine years, and if elected I’ll spend the next several years dealing with it. We will run criminals out of Escambia County. I don’t care that people say it’s a national problem because I care about Escambia County and how it’s a problem here. Also if I were sheriff, I would see that Atmore was not the stepchild. If I’m in Brewton Monday, Wednesday and Friday of one week, I’ll be in Atmore Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the next week. On days when I’m not in those cities, my chief deputy will be there.”

The next meeting for the Escambia County Republican Party will be Monday, June 21 at 6 p.m. in Brewton.