Jones wins Hammett’s old House seat

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Republican Mike Jones became a part of a Republican sweep of the Alabama House of Representatives when he captured 52 percent of the votes cast and defeated two challengers to claim the District 92 seat.

Independent Don Cotton received 24.3 percent of the votes cast and Democrat David Darby received 23.57 percent. District 92 includes all of Covington County and a portion of Escambia County.

“It’s a great night,” Jones told his supporters. “This is a community that works together, and that’s what’s going to see us through these tough economic times, and we’re ready to get started.

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Jones said first on his agenda is a nap.

“Now we’re going to go and be prepared for the job,” Jones said. “We didn’t want to go in flat-footed, so we’re ready to run.”

Both Cotton and Darby congratulated Jones on a good race.

“I called Mike and congratulated him. He ran a good race,” Cotton said. “I don’t know anything we could have done differently.”

Cotton, who had to collect petitions to get on the ballot as an Independent, expressed his thanks to the thousands of people who signed petitions to get him on the ballot, as well as those who voted for him.

Darby said, “I congratulated Mike on having run a well-organized and effective campaign. I called him and pledged my support. The most important thing is that District 92 come out of this with good representation.

Darby expressed his appreciation to his family and to friends who supported him and worked in his campaign.

“The great thing about our country is that the pendulum swings,” Darby said. “It swung very far to the left, and this is typically the reaction to that,” he said of the success of Republicans not only in Covington County, but also across the state.

When the new representatives and senators are sworn-in in January, it will mark the first time since 1874 that the Republicans have held control of the legislature.

The Republicans cited unofficial results showing that the GOP will have 60 of 105 seats in the Alabama House and 22 of 35 seats in the Senate. State Republican Party Chairman Rep. Mike Hubbard of Auburn, whose wife, Susan Sorrells Hubbard, is an Opp native, issued the following statement: “I could not be more pleased with today’s historic results. There are many people who played an integral role in helping us to achieve this goal, including Gov. Bob Riley, our hardworking staff who implemented our Campaign 2010 strategy, our donors who believed we would be successful and the candidates who made the decision to be a part of this historic election cycle.”

Jones said it bodes well for Covington County to have a Republican in the District 92 seat when the GOP takes over the House.

“I spoke with Mike Hubbard just a little while ago,” Jones said shortly after 11 p.m. “He told me it appeared the party had taken over the House and the Senate. We will begin meeting Thursday in Montgomery as a Republican caucus and choosing leadership.

“You know to be one of the initial Republicans coming in at a time when the party is taking over is good,” Jones said. “It is a perfect transition for this district with Seth (Hammett) stepping down. If we choose the right leader, we have a lot of connections to this county, and those are the things we’ll be working on as soon as this Thursday.”