Hearing held to decide next steps in Canton aldermen re-do elections

Hearing held to decide next steps in Canton aldermen re-do elections


Canton officials have begun talks on how to proceed with Ward 2 and Ward 5 special elections ordered for mid-August.

“The Lord is good and his providence will see us through,” said Special Judge Jeff Weill Sr. as he closed a Tuesday, July 13, hearing concerning the election.

The Aug. 17 contests will be a do-over of Democrat Party primary races for the Ward 2 and Ward 5aldermen positions. 

Incumbent Ward 2 Alderman Fred Esco Jr.’s opponent was challenger Renee Truss and incumbent Ward 5 Alderman Tim C. Taylor’s was challenger John E. Brown.

David Humphreys, who represents candidates Esco Jr. and Taylor, said he hopes the two parties in his cases can reach an agreement within the next few days on how to proceed with the election, though they have no deadline to make a decision before the Aug. 17 election date set by Weill.

“Everyone is being cooperative in looking for an agreed solution on how to hold this election,” Humphreys said. 

Negotiations began Tuesday morning in Madison County Circuit Court in front of Weill. 

The hearing addressed the consolidated cases Esco v. Truss, Taylor v. Brown and Rodriguez Brown v. Colby Walker, though only the Ward 2 and Ward 5 races were addressed at that time. 

Madison County Attorney Mike Espy was also present during the hearing and was allowed into the private talks representing the county’s interest in the proceedings.

Weill had ordered the county election commission to assist in the Aug. 17 special election in his original order on July 1.

Supervisors voted at their July 6 meeting to ask the county’s attorney to represent the county’s interest in the proceedings and to seek to remove them from the issue entirely if possible. 

Rodriguez Brown is the incumbent for the Ward 1 Aldermen seat. He lost to Walker in the election held in April. 

An ongoing lawsuit between incumbent Democrat Mayor Dr. William Truly and Republican challenger Chip Matthews was not a part of Tuesday’s proceeding though they have an ongoing lawsuit and Matthews has declared himself the mayor of Canton even though Truly beat him in the general election.

Humphreys said he did not know anything about the Brown v. Walker or Truly v. Matthews cases.

“I do not know the status of those cases,” Humphreys said. “I am not involved.”

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