ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — Recently, State Senator Jimmy Holley announced his retirement after his current term. On Thursday, the two men vying for that job spoke before this month’s Coffee County Republican Women’s Club.

State Representative Mike Jones of Andalusia and Coffee County Commissioner Josh Carnley is vying for the Republican nomination for Alabama Senate District 31.

The seat is comprised of all of Coffee, Covington, Pike Counties, and a portion of Dale County. It’s been represented by Senator Holley of Elba since the mid-1970s, who announced his retirement at the end of his current term which runs goes through next year.

Both Carnley and Jones were asked why they would be best to represent the district.

“One of the biggest things, I’m a good listener,” Carnley said. “I will seek the input of the folks from District 31. I’m going to make the best decision with the facts that I available have.”

“And it’s that level of experience I can bring to the senate that makes the transition almost seamless,” Jones said. “And we’re going to need someone in the Senate who knows how the process works. I’ve been in leadership seven years and I think we can make that happen.”

The actual qualifying period for the senate seat takes place the first week of January 2022. It’s not known if any other candidates will qualify to run for the seat

Alabama’s primary election takes place on Tuesday, May 24. As of now, there are no announced democratic candidates for Holley’s seat.