By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Mack Butler was sworn in Thursday in both Etowah and St. Clair counties after winning the special election to fill the District 30 seat in the House of Representatives.
The seat, left vacant when Blaine Galliher resigned to take a position in Gov. Robert Bentley’s cabinet. Butler won the seat after defeating a Republican opponent in the primary and Democrat Beth McGlaughn, a Gadsden attorney, in the general election Dec. 11.
“I deeply appreciate the voters of House District 30 placing their trust in me to serve as their representative in Montgomery,” Butler said in a statement. “So many people worked extremely hard to help make this a reality and I am very grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from across the district.
“My friend Blaine Galliher left some tremendous shoes to fill and I look forward to now turning my focus towards working diligently to create jobs and improve our economy.”
Butler won’t have to wait. He officially took office at midnight after the vote, and took his oath of office twice Dec. 13, in both Etowah and St. Clair counties, portions of which comprise District 30.
When the legislative session begins in 2013, Butler said, he will be sworn in again in a ceremony in Montgomery.
Butler said he was glad to have the race complete.
He said he had been concerned about the turn out in a single-vote race at the end of what’s been a long election season for people in this area. Not only were there votes in the presidential race and a variety of state and local offices in November, most local municipalities had election this summer as well.
“Special elections are a different animal,” Butler said. “It depends on who gets their people out to vote.”
As a result of his election, Butler had to resign from the Etowah County Board of Education, leaving a vacancy there that will be filled by the other board members serving.
Etowah County Schools Superintendent Dr. Alan Cosby said the board had 30 days to make the appointment, under Alabama law. He said he has already had inquiries about the position, and expects to have several people submit resumes.
A majority of the six board members is needed to fill the position, and Cosby said he expected that to be done at the board’s Jan. 8 meeting.