By David Palmer
The Cullman Times
Democratic candidate Kelly Evans has resigned from the race for Alabama House District 11, clearing the way for Republican Randall Shedd to take office sooner than anticipated.
The Hanceville area resident told The Times Wednesday afternoon that she sent a letter of resignation to the Alabama Democratic Party headquarters in Montgomery a month ago.
“I’m very disappointed in how they’ve handled this. I’ve been waiting to hear back from them, or if they wanted to offer this to another candidate,” Evans said. “I own two homes, one in Cleveland in Blount County, and the other in the Hanceville area. According to the election map, the home in Hanceville is not in the district and that’s where I spend most of my time. I didn’t want to deceive the voters or waste taxpayers’ money. It’s expensive to run an election and I don’t feel that it’s right that I stay in the race.”
Bradley Davidson, executive director of the Alabama Democratic Party, confirmed Evans’ resignation from the race.
“The letter was addressed to me and I just saw it a few days ago. I was out sick for a couple of weeks and had been in the hospital,” Davidson said. “Kelly is a good Democrat. It’s difficult to get anyone to run in that district because the lines will change in 2014. We probably will not try to field another candidate until the 2014 election.”
Evans said she had been told by state party officials that she could use her Cleveland address and remain qualified for the election. Nonetheless, she decided that would be misleading to voters.
“I’ve always been straight-forward. I don’t want anyone to be deceived. I don’t care what party it is, I don’t think it’s right,” Evans said. “I sent this letter over a month ago and I told the party they should find another candidate. Otherwise, Mr. (Randall) Shedd should be allowed to go ahead and take office. He could have gone ahead after winning the (Republican) runoff.”
Evans said she remains committed to the Democratic Party and said a candidate could still come forward in 2014 when the district lines change.
Evans is a longtime Blount County resident. She entered the race on the final day of qualifying when the state Democratic Party received her paperwork before the 5 p.m. deadline in December 2012. She was also a longtime business owner in Blount County.
Davidson said official paperwork to withdraw Evans from the race is under way.
Republican nominee Randall Shedd said he was traveling Wednesday when one of his sons called and told him about Evans’ withdrawal as reported at cullmantimes.com.
“It’s my understanding from talking to the secretary of state’s office, if there is not a replacement candidate, I would be sworn in,” Shedd said. “We’ll just have to wait and see if that is certified soon.”
Asked about a move afoot to make the Cullman County superintendent of education a board-appointed position, Shedd said he had spoken briefly to Rep. Ed Henry, who was holding up the bill while the District 11 seat was unfilled.
“I think there is still time to get the bill through,” Shedd said. “I want to talk the county school board members and I would like for them to talk to the general public and make sure everyone knows the benefits.”
The general election for the House seat was scheduled for May 7.
David Palmer may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-734-2131, ext. 213.