Fridy, Windom win appellate court races; Kellum and Smith head to runoff

Fridy, Windom win appellate court races; Kellum and Smith head to runoff

By DEVIN PAVLOU, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. –  Alabama voters on Tuesday gave clear-cut victories to in two races for appellate judgeships, while sending a third to a runoff. 

For Place 1 on the Court of Civil Appeals, State Rep. Matt Fridy, R-Montevallo, defeated Pelham attorney Phillip Bahakel by a 66-34% margin. There is no Democrat running in the November general election.

Fridy, has served as an Alabama state representative since 2014. He also serves as the vice-chair of the Judiciary Committee and chair of the committee that oversees campaigns and elections. 

In a Facebook post late Tuesday, Fridy thanked supporters for propelling him to a decisive win.

“What a night! I am humbled beyond measure to have won the Republican primary election for Place 2 on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. There’s no way this could have happened without the help of so many friends across Alabama, and I am deeply thankful to everyone who worked so hard on my behalf to help us win the primary tonight,” Fridy said in the post.

For Place 1 on the Court of Criminal Appeals, incumbent Judge Mary Windom defeated Cullman attorney Melvin Hasting by a 70-30% margin. With no Democratic primary opponent, Windom will be uncontested in the general election.

Windom was elected as a judge for the Court of Criminal Appeals in 2008. She was elected by her peers as the presiding judge of the court in 2012.

For Place 2 on the Court of Criminal Appeals, incumbent Judge Beth Kellum will face former Lauderdale County Commissioner Will Smith in a runoff on March 31. There is no Democrat running in the November general election. 

According to the latest results from the Secretary of State’s office, Kellum won 230,050 votes, which totals 43.3% of the vote – less than the majority needed to win the race outright. Smith had the second highest vote total with 197,274, good enough for 37.13%. Former Jefferson County judge Jill Ganus came in third with 103,945 votes, or 19.57%.

Kellum was elected as a judge of the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals in 2008. She has also served as a staff attorney for the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Alabama Supreme Court.