Cassius Lanier Wins District 7 Seat in City Council Special Election in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
After a judge nullified his razor-thin victory in March's general election, Cassius Lanier secured another win in Tuesday's special election to represent District 7 on the Tuscaloosa City Council.
Lanier earned 64% of the vote. 1,354 ballots were cast out of 8,847 registered voters in the district equalling roughly 15.3% voter turnout.. In the March election, Lanier earned a total of 749 votes to incumbent Sonya McKinstry's 724. The final numbers for the special election are outlined below:
Winner is indicated in bold. An asterisk (*) denotes the incumbent.
- Cassius Lanier – 872
- Sonya McKinstry* – 482
Political newcomer Lanier won the race for the seat in March, but those results were nullified by Circuit Judge Robert Vance after McKinstry filed a lawsuit claiming Lanier was not qualified to hold the position because of previous felony convictions.
Lanier was ultimately pardoned of the convictions, but Vance said the pardons came too late -- Lanier was technically barred from running for office when he qualified to run. With all legal obstacles out of the way, the candidates faced off again Tuesday in a special election for the seat.
The Thread reached out to both candidates immediately following the results. Lanier said he was at a loss for words, and would serve his district to the best of his ability.
"I'm overwhelmed. I put forth a lot of hard work, and overcame a lot of adversity," Lanier told The Thread. "I'm excited to work with the Council. I've been working in the city for so long, but with a seat at the table, I look forward to giving back to our district in so many ways."
McKinstry said that she too only wants what's best for District 7.
"At the end of they day, it's the people that have to make these decisions," McKinstry said. "I respect that decision. At the end of the day, I know the sun will rise again in the morning."