Malone picks up petition

Published 10:08 am Thursday, January 16, 2014

The November election for Lawrence County Commissioner may be a rematch between the same two who vied for the office in 2012. On Tuesday, former commissioner Doug Malone picked up a petition to run against incumbent Freddie Hayes. Hayes narrowly beat Malone in 2012 by a little more than 1 percent of the vote.

Hayes ran that year to finish out the unexpired term of Paul Herrell, who died in February 2012. Hayes had been appointed by the Republican Central Committee to Herrell’s seat that spring. Herrell had unseated two-term incumbent Malone in the 2010 general election.

However, Malone is uncertain if he will actually file to run.

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“I am not sure I am going to run right now,” he said. “I am putting some feelers out on what time would be best to run. I feel like I am still viable and always enjoyed being a commissioner. But I am also considering waiting until 2016.”

Malone also cited some personal obligations that could preclude his running for office this year.

“I am not 100 percent sure which way I am going to run,” he said. “We accomplished a lot while I was a commissioner. We helped lead the way for St. Mary’s medical facility to come to Lawrence County and helped preserve our ambulance service when Jackson and Athens (counties) pulled out of SEOEMS. We helped to lay the groundwork for the hotel and the Frisch’s Big Boy. I like to get things done.”

Hayes was the first candidate to file for the May primary followed by Probate/Juvenile Judge David Payne. On Monday County Auditor Jason Stephens filed for his second term. Lawrence County Judge D. Scott Bowling and State Rep. Ryan Smith have picked up petitions, but have not filed.

Filing deadline is Feb. 5 for the May 6 primary.