Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
Pictured above (L to R): Buck Watson, Hon. Ralph Cook, Gladys Coleman, Jimmy Knight and J. Mason Davis
The Alabama Democratic Party inducted seven new members into its Hall of Fame, Friday, April 10, 2015, in Birmingham, Alabama. New inductees are The Hon. Lucy Baxley, Mrs. Gladys Coleman, The Hon. Ralph Cook, Mr. J. Mason Davis, Mr. James R. “Jimmy” Knight, The Hon. Robert S. Vance (posthumously), and Mr. Herman “Buck” Watson, Jr.
Lucy Baxley, Alabama’s first female Lt. Governor, also served two terms as Treasurer and two terms as President of the Alabama Public Service Commission as a Democrat, in addition to work in county government and a successful real estate career. Mrs. Gladys Coleman, an educator, was the first African-American to serve on the Fairfield Board of Education and has been a community leader and Democratic political activist for over six decades. The Hon. Ralph Cook, current City Attorney for Birmingham, and former Dean and Law Professor at Miles Law School, served as a District Court Judge, Circuit Court Judge, and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama. Mr. J. Mason Davis, a recognized Alabama attorney for his civil rights work and legal expertise, held numerous local and statewide civic and professional leadership roles and was the long-time Secretary of the State Democratic Executive Committee of Alabama.
Mr. James R. “Jimmy” Knight, practiced law for 53 years in Cullman, Alabama, served in numerous leadership positions with the Alabama Bar Association and Trial Lawyers’ Association and was elected Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, 1981 – 1985. The Hon. Robert S. Vance, inducted posthumously, also served as Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, 1966 – 1977, participated in several landmark legal cases and held a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and later the Eleventh Circuit until his death. Herman “Buck” Watson, Jr. of Huntsville, Alabama, has practiced law for over 50 years, primarily in the area of civil litigation, held numerous offices in the Alabama State Bar Association and Alabama Association for Justice, and is a Democratic leader who worked on numerous local, state and national campaigns.
The 2015 inductees join the 2011 first Hall of Fame inductees, Mr. Stewart Burkhalter, Dr. Paul R. Hubbert, Mrs. Ruth Johnson Owens, Dr. Joe L. Reed, and Justice Janie Shores.
“We are extremely proud to recognize these outstanding Democrats who represent our Party and its principles, to improve the lives of middle-class, working families in Alabama,” said Nancy Worley, Chairwoman of the Alabama Democratic Party.