Deceased man elected to Bridgeport city council

Northeast Alabama

BRIDGEPORT, Ala. – An interesting twist to the municipal election in one Jackson County town.

Wayne Crabtree was looking forward to his third term as a Bridgeport city councilman, but he died almost a month before election day.

“When it happened, we weren’t sure what to do,” said mayor David Hughes.

Hughes said the city clerk reached out to the Alabama League of Municipalities and the Alabama Secretary of State for the answer.

“The ballot had done been made with his name on it and the state law says that you can’t take his name off. So, if he won the election then we could appoint who we wanted,” explained Hughes.

Crabtree won by 56 votes. 

Situations like that are rare, but it has happened in Alabama once before: in Bibb County in 2012.

“I believe, you know, the people I’ve talked to in town. We talk about it a lot. I believe they understand. Some people disagree with it, but that’s the law and we’re going by the law,” said Hughes.

The question remains: Who will take Crabtree’s seat?

“His wife showed interest and said if he did win the election, she’d like to serve on the board,” said Hughes.

Hughes told News 19 all city council members, including Crabtree’s widow, will be sworn in on November 2, 2020.

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