House District 55 candidate Phyllis Oden-Jones not conceding race

Fairfield city councilwoman separated by 30 votes from second-place finisher Sylvia Swayne

By: - September 27, 2023 7:01 pm
A "Vote Here sign," with black lettering on a white background, stands in front of a build. A man in a blue shirt in the background enters.

Phyllis Oden-Jones said Wednesday that her campaign needs to look into the recount procedures before making a decision. (Getty)

Phyllis Oden-Jones, who came 30 votes shy of second place in the Alabama House District 55 special primary election, said in an interview Wednesday she had not conceded but had not fully looked into a recount.

“When it came up last night, if I was going to ask for a recount, I told them I’d think about it, I haven’t made up my mind yet,” she said.

The Democratic primary in the district, which includes portions of Birmingham and Fairfield, will go to an Oct. 24 runoff after candidates in the Democratic primary failed to get a majority of the votes.


Travis Hendrix, a police sergeant, had 670 votes (27.91%) in the unofficial returns and advanced to the runoff. But just 30 votes separated Sylvia Swayne, a quality assurance manager (515 votes, 21.45%) and Oden-Jones (485 votes, 20.2%), a Fairfield city councilwoman, for the second place slot.

Oden-Jones said that her campaign needs to look into the recount procedures before making a decision.

“If we do it, we, of course, will meet the timeline, but right now, we just need to know the details of it,” Oden-Jones said.

A message seeking comment was left Wednesday with Claire Brickson, a spokesperson for the Swayne campaign.

Seven Democrats competed for the party nomination in the Democratic-safe district. With no Republican opponent, the winner of the Democratic runoff will almost certainly become the House District 55 representative.

The seat became vacant after Rep. Fred Plump, D-Fairfield, resigned in May after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.  Plump ran unopposed in the 2022 general election after defeating incumbent Rep. Rod Scott, D-Fairfield, in a runoff for the Democratic nomination for the seat. Scott ran unopposed in the general election in 2010, 2014 and 2018.


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Alander Rocha
Alander Rocha

Alander Rocha is a journalist based in Montgomery, and he reports on government, policy and healthcare. He previously worked for KFF Health News and the Red & Black, Georgia's student newspaper. He is a Tulane and Georgia alumnus with a two-year stint in the U.S. Peace Corps.