Voters in central Phenix City go to the polls Tuesday to choose from three candidates hoping to fill the seat left open by the Aug. 3 death of District 2 Councilman Johnnie Robinson Jr.
District 2 cuts through the center of the city along U.S. 80 from 13th and 14th Streets downtown out to the Ladonia area.
Only one voting precinct will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST for this special election: the Phenix City Activity Center at 1500 14th St. The votes will be tallied Tuesday night in the council chambers on Broad Street.
If a runoff is necessary, it will be Dec. 19 – which would send some voters to the polls twice in rapid succession, as the previous Tuesday, Dec. 12, will be the special election for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.
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Robinson, 61, was elected to represent District 2 in 2016. He previously served on the Russell County Commission.
Here in alphabetical order are the three candidates who entered the race during qualifying Sept. 6 through Sept. 26, and the biographical information they filed with the city clerk:
- Steve Franklin, 66, has lived in Phenix City for 62 years and chaired the Phenix City Historic Preservation Commission. He graduated from Central High School in 1970. He is president of the Alabama Horseshoe Pitching Association and a member of American Legion Post 235 and Christians United for Israel. Married for 42 years, he has three children who also graduated from Central.
- Vickey Carter Johnson, 50, who said she works for the Muscogee County School District, has lived in Phenix City for 40 years and served as vice-president of Habitat for Humanity and the Phenix City-Russell County Library Board. She is a 1985 graduate of Central High school, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Troy University in 2010. She is single with two children who attend Central and Smiths Station High School.
- Baxley Oswalt, 77, has lived in Phenix City all his life. He said he has edited the old Phenix City Herald and the Citizen newspapers, taught art at Phenix City intermediate school, and produced a “Focus on East Alabama” show for Phenix City cable. He and his wife also owned and operated The Gallery art shop. He graduated from Central High School in 1958 and attended Auburn University for three years. He has served as president of the Phenix City Boys Club, and he’s also a member of the Phenix City Civitans. He is married with three adult sons.