HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- As part of WHNT News 19’s continuous coverage on election night, we will have live reports from the field, campaign updates and a panel of sharp-eyed political observers.
We wanted panelists with insight, passion and perspective.
The panel will include Elaine Lynch, a former TV reporter and active member of the Democratic Party; independent media consultant David Person, a veteran journalist and opinion writer, and Jay Town, a senior prosecutor in the Madison County District Attorney’s office, who is a member of the Madison County and Alabama Republican Party executive committees.
Person has a paid consulting role in Democrat Will Boyd’s 5th District Congressional campaign. Boyd is challenging GOP incumbent U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks.
Town was a Judge Advocate General or “JAG,” in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Lynch has also worked for the American Lung Association of Alabama and has been a Democratic Party leader at the local, state and national levels.
WHNT News 19 political analyst Jess Brown will again provide insight on election night. Brown holds a Ph.D. in political science and is a retired professor of government and public affairs at Athens State University. Brown has been providing information and commentary to electronic and print media since 1976.
Person said the American electoral process can be challenging, but it is also rewarding.
“You know the metaphor people use is sausage making, right, it’s kind of messy, kind of mysterious, probably some stuff that you’d rather not know,” he said. “But what I like about it is that it engages our populace, and it gives people, average people, an opportunity to have some say and have some impact on how our country is led.”
Town said election day if this presidential campaign is any indicator election day could be a bit chaotic.
“I’m sure we might wake up Wednesday to some turmoil,” he said Monday. “But I hope tomorrow is a fair day, in all states and across the country. And we wake up Wednesday with a president and clear majorities in the House and Senate, so we can get this country back to the business of the United States.”
Town said a central part of what makes the United States’ electoral system the best in the world has been more than 200 years of peaceful transitions of power.
“It’s always done in a peaceful manner. It’s done without resistance,” he said. “And I think that whether we have this sort of contentious nature about the electoral cycle I still think at the end of the day we all come back together and we just get back to work.”
Lynch hopes Tuesday’s results provide a huge turn in American history.
“I had hoped to live long enough to see a woman president,” she said. “And when you think about how long it’s been, I really doubted that I would ever see that happen. So I’m really excited about that.”
Lynch is looking forward to watching the returns come in election night.
“Oh, it’s like going down on Christmas Day and there are your packages, don’t you want to open them and see what’s in there?”
The panel will also include AL.com's John Hammontree and Kyle Whitmire.
Whitmire is a political commentator for the Alabama Media Group.