NORTHEAST ALABAMA (WHNT) — Two counties in northeast Alabama made history last November by electing women to their district attorney’s office for the first time.
Summer McWhorter Summerford and Jennifer Bray, both Republicans, are expected to be sworn in this month as the district attorney in their respective counties.
Summerford, the current deputy district attorney, will oversee the 9th Judicial Circuit, which includes Cherokee and DeKalb counties.
“As a mother and a lifetime resident of this Circuit, I am invested in the future of our communities,” Summerford told News 19. “What we do now has an impact on the world we will leave to our children. I am committed to doing all I can to help make that world a better place.”
To win the job, Summerford defeated former Rainsville Mayor Nick Jones with nearly 70% of the vote in the Republican primary. She takes over the role from Mike O’Dell, who did not seek re-election last year.
“I am humbled by the support I received during my campaign and the words of encouragement I have received since the election,” Summerford continued. “I look forward to continuing to move the 9th Circuit District Attorney’s Office, and this Circuit, forward.”
Jennifer Bray will oversee the 27th Judicial Circuit, as Marshall County’s first female district attorney.
“I’m honored to be respected enough to be considered the person most capable to do the job – not because of my gender or anything else except for my abilities and commitment to the community,” Bray said. “But I am very proud to join the community of female leaders in our county and show my daughter and other little girls that no job is closed to them solely due to their gender.”
She worked in the Marshall County District Attorney’s Office for seven years before declaring her candidacy in June 2021 and won her race without a primary or general election opponent.
“There is no doubt that being unopposed in a political race is a great feeling,” Bray continued. “What being unopposed tells me is that the members of our local Bar have confidence in me and believe I’m the person for this job. Knowing I have the support of my fellow attorneys means a lot to me.”
Bray told News 19 that while she believes the Marshall County DA’s office is already one of the best — there are still opportunities for growth with technology and efficiency.
“We’re a small office which means each of us wear a lot of hats and have a lot of cases, so utilizing technology to make us more effective and efficient is a big goal of mine,” she said. “Also, I would like to focus on establishing a social media presence for our office and developing a website. Currently, there is no website for the DA’s office where the public can go to gather information, and I want to change that.”
Summerford will be sworn into office in both DeKalb and Cherokee County ceremonies. See the details here. Bray will be sworn in on January 20 at 2:30 p.m. in the Marshall County Courthouse.