Opelika City Councilman Dr. Robert Lofton, Ward 3, who was recently diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, has tendered his resignation, effective Nov. 2.

“One year ago I ran for the office as Ward 3 City Council member on the basis of hardwork, honesty and integrity. As I have been diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, I am no longer able to perform the duties that I feel responsible for and that the citizens of Opelika deserve,” Lofton said. “I want to thank my fellow council members, Mayor Gary Fuller, all city employees and the administration for their hard work. It has been a joy to work with them all. I ask for your prayers as I navigate this new journey in life.”

The city of Opelika will hold a special election for the Ward 3 city council seat on Jan. 11, 2022. Candidates must reside within the boundaries of Ward 3 and have resided there for 30 days or more immediately preceding the date of the election. They also must be qualified to vote in the Lee County precinct which embraces and covers that part of the corporate limits of the city of Opelika in which the elector resides, shall be authorized to participate in said election. Candidates may begin qualifying for office on Tuesday, Nov. 9.  The last day on which a candidate may qualify by filing a statement of candidacy with the city clerk shall be Tuesday, Nov. 23. To file a statement of candidacy, please visit Russell Jones, City Clerk at 204 S. 7th St.

“We are eternally grateful to Dr. Lofton for his leadership and service to our community,” Fuller said. “He has represented Ward 3 with great honor and a proven love for Opelika. I know this decision was difficult for Dr. Lofton and his family. We ask the community to pray for Dr. Lofton as he fights his battle with ALS.”

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. To learn more about this disease, visit

City Council President Eddie Smith added, “We’d like to ask that citizens respect Dr. Lofton’s privacy as he is not up to visits or phone calls. He has navigated his diagnosis with grace and humility and can step away knowing he served the people of Ward 3 honorably.”