Tuscaloosa council race: Dispute hearing to be held

By Lindsay Martin
Staff Writer

TUSCALOOSA — The judgment hearing for the dispute between Sonia Mckinstry and Cassius Lanier will be held soon, determining the next steps in a City Council race decided by a couple dozen votes.

The location is TBA and the case is assigned to Judge Robert Vance in Birmingham.

 Tuscaloosa County judges asked to be withdrawn from the case.

The case was filed by attorney Cam Parsons on behalf of Mckinstry to overturn the election results. Mckinstry, the incumbent District 7 councilor, lost by 28 votes to Lanier.

Parsons said that under Alabama law, a person who has a felony conviction over 12 months is disqualified for holding public office unless they obtain a pardon that would allow them to hold a public office by Election Day.

Lanier did not obtain a pardon by Election Day.

Lanier was convicted of selling and being in possession of drugs four times.

Parsons hopes the outcome of the case will go in his clients’ favor and Mckinstry will be declared the winner.

A representative for Lanier said the community support is huge for the declared winner.

“Everyone has been reaching out to him and been there for him,” a representative said.

Members from District 7 have mixed feelings about the election results.

Resident Tania Jones compares the presidential election to the city election.

“I think she [McKinstry] is doing too much,” Jones said. “We saw Trump try to overturn the election results and failed so what thinks she can overturn results in Alabama.”

Resident Juanita Hollis believes that the government should do the right thing.

“He has felonies so clearly he has had trouble with the law before,” Hollis said. “I think they should do whatever they feel the need is best for our community.”