Candidates qualify for county elections

Published 2:41 pm Monday, April 28, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
Campaigning activity is heating up across the county with six county seats up for election in June.
The Escambia County Probate office is responsible for overseeing the election process for the county. Maxine Butts, a member of the staff of the probate office, said qualifying for candidacy has ended with the primary election just weeks away.
The primary election has been set for Nov. 4 and will determine who will be sitting in the seats up for election this year.
Offices up for election will be Escambia County tax assessor, tax collector, commissioners for districts 2 and 4 and board of education representatives for districts 1 and 5.
The office of Escambia County Tax Assessor is currently occupied by Jim Hildreth. Escambia County's tax collector is Joy Wiggins. Neither candidate up for re-election is being opposed in the election.
In the Escambia County Commission district 2 race, incumbent Todd Williamson is being challenged by Raymond Wiggins. This office will be decided by voters in the eastern portion of the county including Brewton and East Brewton area.
Democrat Brandon Smith and Republicans James Junior Hall and Kevin McKinley are challenging district 4 County Commissioner William H. Brown for his seat. Voters in the Atmore area will decide the outcome of this race.
Escambia County School Board seats for district 1 and 5 are up for election.
In the district 1 race, Byron Palmer is challenging incumbent Michael Goolsby. Voters in the Brewton area will decide the winner in the district 1 race.
Willie J. Grissett, from Atmore, is running unopposed for the District 5 position.
County Commission
District 2 Candidates
Raymond Wiggins
A native and lifelong resident of Escambia County, Wiggins' is married to the former Charlene Fowler. The Wiggins live in the Roberts community and are members of Bradley Assembly of God Church. Their son John and his wife, Amber (Wilcox), have two children, Kenly, age 4, and Kaden, age 2.
Wiggins has been involved in community service throughout his life, serving as a past board member of Bradley Assembly of God Church; as a member of the Roberts Volunteer Fire Department; and is an experienced foster parent. He has served as past president of the W.S. Neal Elementary and Middle School PTOs and the W.S. Neal Diamond Club. Wiggins is a member of the W.S. Neal Quarterback Club and the Band Boosters Club, and he serves as the chairman of the advisory committee for the building construction program at Escambia-Brewton Career Technical School.
Wiggins has been employed for more than 20 years with Southern Pine Electric Cooperative, where he is currently the environmental and safety coordinator. He is a graduate of W.S. Neal High School and attended Jefferson Davis Community College. Wiggins has completed coursework at the University of Florida, Mississippi State University and the University of Wisconsin, as well as successfully completing a number of courses sponsored by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He is certified as an instructor in First Aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator through the American Red Cross.
Wiggins ran for county commissioner District 2 in 2000 and was defeated by a small margin. He said that with his background, education and experience he feels that he is well qualified and could be effective as county commissioner. He said he will represent the people of District 2 with honesty and integrity, and will always be available and accessible to his constituency.
Wiggins said he is particularly concerned about the condition of county roads. He said he would like to develop a plan for striping county roads and better maintaining rights-of-way to improve visibility and safety for the citizens of Escambia County.
Todd Williamson
Williamson is the son of Cecil and Faye Williamson and the grandson of the late Earl and Cloyteel McDonald and the late Robert Lee Williamson, all of East Brewton. He is a graduate of W.S. Neal High School and attended Auburn University, where he graduated summa cum laude.
He and his wife, Linda, have two sons: Spencer, 20, who is assistant fire chief of the East Brewton Fire Department, and Logan, 13, an eighth-grader at W.S. Neal Middle School. They are members of Ridge Road Baptist Church.
Williamson is a member of the Alabama Association of County Commissioners, the W.S. Neal Diamond Club, W.S. Neal Quarterback Club, East Brewton Fourth of July Committee and East Brewton Recreation Board.
Williamson serves on the board of the Alabama Farmers Federation for Escambia County, has completed local government training certification through Auburn University and is a member of the Alabama Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Development Program Class VII, a two-year leadership school offered by Auburn University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
Williamson is also a volunteer for the East Brewton Fire Department and Ridge Road Volunteer Fire Department. He has served as past president of the W.S. Neal Quarterback Club and Escambia County Cattleman's Association.
Williamson is currently the agri-science instructor at W.S. Neal High School.
Board of Education
District 1
Byron Palmer
Palmer is a lifelong resident of East Brewton, a 1974 graduate of W.S. Neal High School and has served on the East Brewton City Council for 20 years. He has served with the volunteer fire department for 30 years, on the Little League Board for eight years, the mayor pro-tem for 16 years, and a member of the W.S. Neal Band Boosters for three years.
Currently Palmer's two sons attend W.S. Neal High School - Caleb, a senior, and Joshua, a sophomore.
He is presently employed with the Escambia County Commission in Brewton.
Michael Goolsby
Goolsby was first appointed to the position to fill the unexpired term of Murray Stinson. He ran unopposed in the election six years ago.
Having served as chairman of the board for the last six and a half years, Goolsby says he is proud of the direction the Escambia County School System is going. He also said thanks to the people of Escambia County and to the leadership of the school board, the superintendent and his staff have provided in putting the system into better financial condition than most school systems in Alabama. The next few years are going to be difficult because of proration, but our school system should not experience any major cutbacks.
Goolsby graduated from W.S. Neal High School and attended Jefferson Davis Community College. He and his wife, Mary Jean, have two children, Scott (Amber) Goolsby, who is a teacher and coach at Charles Henderson High School in Troy, and Ashley (Danny) McInnish, who teaches at Drake Middle School in Auburn.
Goolsby also serves as chairman of the East Brewton Water and Sewer Board and is on the board of directors for the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce. He has also served on the East Brewton City Council, past-president of the Brewton Kiwanis Club and past-president of W.S. Neal Quarterback Club. He has been employed as manager of Sherwin Williams, Co., for the past 35 years.
Complete coverage of the June 3 primary will be published in the June 4 edition of The Brewton Standard.