07 March 2020

TPC REAL Politick: Qualifying Week in the Books!

By: MB McCart, Editor 

*edited 3/7/20

Howdy, good people. Hope it's lovely. The weather sure is nice, but not to fear - the rain's supposed to be back on Tuesday.

So qualifying week has come & gone. A couple of surprises & last second entrants, but all in all not overly dramatic.

We'll start with the good stuff - Newton Co. 

Chairman of the Board 

Well, the rumors of JC running for BOC Chair turned out to be just that, though I'm almost certain he was really looking at it. Someone probably informed him that, apparently, he would have to vacate his BOC 4 office to be able to run. I sure as hell wasn't going to say anything! Oh well, it would've been quite entertaining, and it'll probably be the only way he'll ever not be the 4th District Commissioner. C'est La Vie.

And speaking of Chair, not overly surprisingly, incumbent Marcello Banes will not be seeing opposition in the Democratic primary, nor a challenger from the GOP in the general election. Barring an independent run from someone (which would probably have no chance), the home county's first black Chairman will be serving a second term. That speaks volumes, in this writer's opinion, to Banes' popularity with many Newton citizens of all stripes. 

Chairman of the Newton Co. Board of Commissioners, Marcello Banes

BOC 5 

Despite a purported last-second push to get Jared Rutberg to qualify for this one (apparently he had no interest), Ronnie Cowan will not be dealing with any competition in May's GOP primary.

The big surprise in this one was a late entrant on the Dem side - old friend, my personal tax guy & Rockdale HR director Casey Duren qualified for this race. The shame of it is I'm not sure if Casey will be able to win the Democratic primary, but he'd be the one Democrat of the group that might have a shot at taking out Cowan in November. The problem is many who would happily vote for Casey in the general will be pulling a GOP ticket in May to support Ken Malcom.

I think very highly of Casey. I'll make at least a modest donation to & will try to help his campaign as much as I can, but I'm afraid we'll be looking at four more years of  the honorary Democrat & attorney - Ronnie Cowan.

*side note: the petition for an independent campaign for a district race in Newton is actually pretty doable, so...Jared? AB? Somebody? I've got $100 at a minimum for anyone who runs.


As this writer had been hearing, the lady wishing to be "The People's Coroner," Dorothea Bailey-Butts, will once again, as she did four years ago, attempt to defeat incumbent Coroner Tommy Davis

(l-r) Scott Jay, Chair of Newton GOP & Coroner Tommy Davis

I'm pretty much 100% sure the results will be the same. Tommy's as good as they come, and like I said four years ago, this isn't the type of office where you want someone who will need on-the-job training. There's one other Dem who qualified for this one as well, Gabriel White.


As we've known for what feels like 5 years, there are two running for Sheriff on the GOP side - the odds-on favorite, Ken Malcom, and also Clay Ivey. At this point, I figure Ken will win in May probably 2-to-1.

Naturally, current Sheriff Ezell Brown is running unopposed on the Democratic side.

As I've been saying for almost two years now, I think there is precisely one Newtonian out of  our approx 110,000 that could beat Ezell in this race, and it happens to be Ken Malcom.
This'll be the most exciting race in the county this cycle. Looking forward to it. 

Tax Commissioner

Incumbent Dana Darby will be carrying the banner for the Republicans while two Dems will be vying for the position including current Chief Appraiser Marcus Jordan.

If I 
 was going to pick a race of a Newton Constitutional Officer where the incumbent might get upset, this is the one I would pick.

As expected, the incumbents in the other two Constitutional offices - Clerk of Court & Probate - will both be unopposed.

District Attorney 

- dedicated piece coming soon -  

Alcovy Circuit Judgeship Races 

- dedicated piece coming soon -  

State & Federal Races 

- dedicated piece coming soon - 

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

MB McCart