Jones, McNeese Square Off In Madison County District One Race

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT) - One of the last remaining elected Democrats in north Alabama is facing a stiff challenge in his quest for reelection.

Madison County Commissioner Roger Jones (D) told WHNT News 19 that next week's presidential election could potentially have a negative impact on his own race.

Jones has enjoyed the support of District One voters in three separate elections, but the increasingly Republican-supporting district could prove  troublesome next week, with the majority of voters expected to cast ballots for Mitt Romney.  Mortgage banker and GOP nominee Tim McNeese is challenging Jones, and could end up benefiting from pro-Romney voters who may cast straight party ballots.

"It's a concern, and it may happen," said Jones, who is still betting on voters not going the straight party route. "If it does happen, I've been fortunate enough to serve 12 years.  Party has never played a role in the way I vote on the county commission. In my opinion, it should be non-partisan."

Jones said his 12-year track record shows evidence of economic growth and balanced budgets, along with the ability to work with members from both parties. But McNeese said his opponent has failed to cut out pork in the District One work shed payroll, costing taxpayers dearly.

"There is a need for change," said McNeese, who is making his first run for elected office. "We need conservative leadership in District One...I think in District One we have an over-abundance of employees who work for District One. What we could do to cut spending there is through attrition, and those that are looking to retire soon to go ahead and do the retirement."

District One covers New Market and Hazel Green, along with portions of east Huntsville.