By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
CORRECTION–Facebook has become the new battlefield in the House District 30 Special Election race. First Democrat Cody Jones posted a picture of Republican candidate Mack Butler from Rainbow City vacationing in New Orleans and alleged that the two women in the photo with Butler were strippers. Butler responded by denying anything improper and then posted records of one of his Democratic critic’s 2009 arrest.
The Political Director of the Alabama College Democrats State Federation, Cody Jones, began the mud slinging by posting a picture of two New Orleans ladies in police costumes and included the caption of Mack Butler with strippers. Etowah School Board member Butler responded to Jones saying that his wife took the photo and they were just people going to a parade in New Orleans. The photo and the responses have since been taken down. Butler however has responded by posting the picture himself.
Butler explained the photo to his Facebook Friends, “Connie (my wife of 28 yrs) and I were walking back from a parade in New Orleans next to these ladies several years ago, and she took my picture with them and put it on facebook. A lot of people were dressed up funny! Now the Democrats are a…lleging that I’m with strippers. It’s amazing what they will stoop to. It is only a fun picture! Nothing else! I have always lived my life as a role model to my children! I’m sure these ladies would not appreciate that either.”
Butler retaliated by posting information on Facebook that one of his most outspoken Democratic critics, Nancy Charlene McCoy, had been arrested in 2009. Butler has since taken down the picture with the information about McCoy’s arrest.
Responding to the partisan personal attacks Butler said on Facebook, “I guess I should be flattered by the attacks! When I was the Chairman of the Etowah County Republican Party two terms I did get several, plus being on the School Bd, but these really take the cake!!! Thank you for your support!”
On Monday Cody Jones responded to the controversy: “Yesterday I was shown an unflattering image of a candidate in Etowah County. I put it on here. It raised a ruckus. That’s typically what we do on here, share things we’ve been shown. Now, the candidate in question has gotten awfully defensive, but not of the picture . . . Once I got him on a thread and asked some hard-hitting questions he ducked and ran, even getting the post deleted (1st amendment) The rule to take from this is. Some people like to hit in politics, but they don’t like you hitting back. Never be afraid to hit back.”
House District 30 was left vacant by Blaine Galliher, after he accepted the position of Legislative Director for Governor Robert Bentley’s Administration. Rep. Galliher served in the Alabama legislature since 1994. District 30 covers much of Etowah and St. Clair Counties. Rep. Galliher served as the Chairman of the Rules Committee for the last two years.
In a written statement Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said, “Blaine did a fine job of representing the people of House District 30 and I’m confident that he will continue to be a strong leader for the people of Alabama while working alongside Governor Bentley.”
Butler is a former Etowah County GOP Chairman, a businessman and a member of the Board of Education for Etowah County. Butler also serves as a reserve deputy with the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office and is a member of the Alabama Library Service and Alabama Electrical Contractors executive boards.
Butler said, “I am very excited to have the opportunity to continue the representation and leadership of my good friend Blaine Galliher for the people of House District 30,” said Butler. “His many years of service and unblemished record have established a tradition that I intend to continue.”
Butler opponent in the Republican primary is Rob McHugh from Steele. He is a member of the St. Clair County Republican Party, an insurance agent in Steele, a member of the Steele Volunteer Fire Department, and a member of the Alabama Farmers Federation where he has served on the St. Clair County Farmers Federation Board of Directors since 2007.
Mr. McHugh said, “I am running for the Alabama House of Representatives District 30 seat because of encouragement from family and friends who feel that I have the background and experience to represent the values and interest of hardworking Alabama families who need someone who understands their needs to represent them in Montgomery. If I am elected to this position I will bring my God, my family values and my willingness to help the state of Alabama and the citizens of District 30 to Montgomery with me.”
The special primary election will be held on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, and the winner will face Beth McGlaughn (D) from Southside in the special general election held on Tuesday, December 11. Beth McGlaughn is an attorney.