History made in Houston County primary

Pat Jones is the only incumbent Houston County district attorney to ever lose, but that is not the historical takeaway from Tuesday’s vote.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 9:58 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Pat Jones is the only incumbent Houston County District Attorney to ever lose, but that is not the sole historical takeaway from Tuesday’s primary.

Jones’s stellar character never came into question, and neither did his unwavering Christian conservative philosophy or love of Dothan.

Despite those attributes, Jones lacked the main ingredient needed for a successful campaign---support from those who work alongside him.

Like police who had long been fed up with how their cases turned out in court, defense attorneys complained about the wishy-washy way Jones handled cases, and angry crime victims believed he had forsaken them.

After one term voters turned Jones out. His predecessor survived for about 30 years.

Russ Goodman, Jones’ former assistant, defeated him for the Republican nomination and there is no Democratic opposition.

Houston County Coroner Robert Byrd will take the oath of that office for the 10th time, assuming he defeats a Democratic challenger in November which is all but guaranteed.

That would make Byrd the longest-serving elected official in Houston County history, first elected in 1986, the same year as County Chairman Mark Culver who is retiring.

And there is yet another first.

Sheriff’s office captain James Ivey won election to the Houston County Commission where he will serve with fellow officer Ricky Herring, assuming Herring wins his runoff against Richard Talley.

If that happens, it will mark the first time that two law enforcement officers have served alongside each other on the commission.

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