By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
In an exclusive phone conversation Alabama State Senator Jerry Fielding (D) from Sylacauga told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ Monday: “My intentions are too seek reelection.” Sen. Fielding said however that it “was real early in the process”.
‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ asked Sen. Fielding if he thought that the Senate redistricting plan passed by the Republican controlled state legislature would pass review by the U.S. Justice Department. Sen. Fielding said, “It is hard to say what the federal government will do. All the experts said that the (U.S.) Supreme Court was going to overturn the healthcare plan too and look at what happened there.” “It will be real interesting.” Fielding expected that more law suits would be filed to block the Republicans redistricting plan; but he could not guess how that will turn out.
Sen. Fielding said that, “Obviously it (Senate District 11) was drawn with the intent to make it more Republican.” Senator Fielding said that he would have no difficulty representing the people of St. Clair and Shelby Counties in the redrawn district, “The people are basically the same.”
On dividing his native Talladega County in the Senate redistricting process, Sen. Fielding said, “I always think it is good to keep counties as whole as possible.” Sen. Fielding said that Talladega County had been kept whole in the Senate for 30 years, but, “You have got new people in charge down there (Montgomery) and they see things differently.”
Senator Fielding was a Talladega County judge from 1978 to his election to the legislature in 2010. He is currently in private practice and is the City Attorney for both Childersburgh and Sylacauga.
Currently all of Talladega County is in Sen. Fielding’s district 11. If the U.S. Justice Department approves the redistricting plan approved by the Alabama Legislature and signed by Governor Robert Bentley in June, Talladega County would be divided into four State Senate Districts. Senator Fielding would retain his hometown of Sylacauga and part of the City of Talladega, but the remainder of the county would be divided amongst Sen. Beason, Sen. Marsh, and Sen. Blackwell’s districts. District 11 would also lose Coosa, Elmore, and Calhoun Counties. The District would pick up the southeast portion of Shelby County including Columbiana, Wilsonville, and the eastern most portions of Calera and Alabaster. District 11 would also pick up Pell City, Riverside, Cook Springs, Odenville, Springville, most of Argo, Margaret, Moody, and a portion of Leeds in St. Clair County.
The largest population in the new district is now from St. Clair County. 76,000 of the new district’s residents live in St. Clair County, 41,000 residents are from Talladega County, and 25,000 reside in Shelby County.
On Thursday (reported first in ‘The Alabama Political Reporter) Alabama State Representative Jim McClendon (R) from Springville told the Moody Chamber of Commerce that friends and supporters have been asking him to run for the Senate District 11 seat now held by Sen. Fielding.
Rep. McClendon would not say whether or not he was definitely going to run for the Alabama Senate but did say, “I am interested in it.” “I would be honored if that came about.”