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Kelvin Datcher, Frank Woodson to compete HD52 primary runoff

On Tuesday Democratic voters went to the polls in Birmingham’s House District 52 to select their next state representative. No candidate was able to surpass the 50% threshold needed to win the Democratic Party nomination without a runoff. The top two vote getters advanced to a July 16 runoff: Kelvin Datcher and Frank Woodson.

Datcher received 37.95% while Woodson received 17.78%. Only 1,344 votes were cast.

Datcher is the deputy director of community development for the City of Birmingham. He previously worked as a policy analyst at the Jefferson County Health Department, as Chief of Staff for a Birmingham City Council member in District 6, for the Southern Poverty Law Center, and at Alabama State University. He also served as the Alabama State Director for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sander’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Datcher is a deacon at the Sardis Missionary Baptist Church. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Birmingham Zoo and on the Board of Directors for 100 Black Men of Birmingham. Datcher worked to secure a $50 million Choice Neighborhood grant for the community. He is married, has three children, and a 90 pound dog named Biscuit.

Datcher has the endorsements of both Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and the Business Council of Alabama (BCA).

RELATED: State Rep. Rogers indicted in Jefferson County kickback scheme

Frank Woodson is the executive director of Mission Birmingham Transformation Strategies, a faith-based community development organization. Previously he worked 20 years for UPS in management. In 2007, he became the Executive Director of Mission Birmingham, a faith-based community development organization that sought to be a physical demonstration of God’s love to the community.

After guiding Mission Birmingham into a successful venture with ADECA and HUD to help stabilize communities in Birmingham during the foreclosure crisis, Commissioner Woodson steered Mission Birmingham to play a significant role in Birmingham and throughout the state during the 2011 Alabama tornado outbreak disaster.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appointed Woodson to be a Commissioner with the Alabama Service Commission. Woodson has been the Executive Director of Mission Birmingham Transformation Strategies since 2011.

The eventual Democratic nominee will face Republican Carlos Crum in the special general election on October 1.

HD52 became vacant when longtime State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) resigned and admitted his role in a kickback scheme that defraud a baseball league for underprivileged children. Rep. Fred Plump (D-Fairfield) and Rogers long time legislative assistant and girlfriend also admitted their roles in the conspiracy which was uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Rogers had represented HD52 since 1982.

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