By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Jefferson County Republican Party held a reception for all of the Jefferson County Republican Candidates on Thursday at the new Alabama Republican Party Headquarters at 3505 Lorna Road in Hoover, AL. The event was sponsored by the Summit Investors Group.
The Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party Chris Brown told the audience of local Republicans that top to bottom this is the best Republican slate of candidates that the party has ever run. Chairman Brown urged all Republicans to get out and work very hard to get out the vote in Jefferson County on November 6th and urged them to vote Republican all the way down the ballot in Jefferson County.
John Sellers Chairman of the Summit Investors Group (who sponsored the event) thanked everyone present for attending and introduced all of the candidates. Chairman Sellers urged everyone present to support the Jefferson County Republican candidates in November. John Sellers is a member of the Alabama Republican Executive Committee.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead welcomed everyone to the new Alabama Republican Party Headquarters building in Hoover and said that the party would be purchasing the building soon. The Chairman said hosting events like the reception were what the new building was for. Chairman Armistead said that there were still opportunities for Republicans to get more involved in the Presidential election. Armistead said that he started the Battleground Patriots so that Alabama Republicans could influence the outcome of the Presidential Election. Chairman Armistead said that his original plan was to split the Alabama effort between the three southern states which supported Obama in 2008: North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. Armistead said that now the Romney campaign said that they were feeling confident about North Carolina and Virginia so asked that the Battleground Patriots focus their efforts in Florida and Ohio. The ALGOP Chairman said there were still opportunities for people to volunteer to join the Alabama teams canvassing swing states and the Party welcomed contributions to help pay for their efforts.
‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ talked to several Republican candidates who were present at the event:
Pat Thetford is running for Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Place 13. Thetford is a 24 year resident of Jefferson County and was born and raised in Alabama. Thetford has practiced law for 22 years and has represented clients in over 70 jury trials. In January 2011, Thetford was selected by the Jefferson County Judicial Commission as a top three candidate for appointment by the Governor. Thetford graduated from the University of Alabama in 1982, received a Masters in Business Administration from UAB in 1985, and graduated from Cumberland Law School in 1988. Thetford is married to Mary Francis Thetford. They have two children, 15 and 17, and he has coached youth soccer, baseball, and basketball. His opponent is Birmingham City Council woman Carol Smitherman, who is married to state Senator Rodger Smitherman (D).
Don Chamberlain is running for the United States Congress. Chamberlain is running to represent the Seventh Congressional District of Alabama. Chamberlain told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that he would like to debate his opponent: Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D). The Selma businessman is a former Marine who served in the Vietnam War.
The Seventh Congressional District of Alabama is one of the poorest districts in the country. Ironically the Seventh District which includes all or parts of Pickens, Marengo, Greene, Jefferson, Choctaw, Sumter, Montgomery, Clarke. Tuscaloosa, Hale, Dallas, Perry, and Lowndes Counties combines plentiful rainfall, a long growing season, and some of the richest soils in the country. Chamberlain presented us with material touting a plan to create 11,000 new farming startups and 65,000 new farming jobs in the impoverished Black Belt region of Alabama. Chamberlain said that the plan (the KMAC Organic Farming Initiative) would be presented in more detail by Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture John McMillan on Friday, October 19th at 2:00 pm at the Central Alabama Farmer’s Co-op in Selma.
‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ also talked to Judge Suzanne Childers. Judge Childers is the incumbent for Circuit Judge Place #15. Judge Childers has 22 years of private practice experience. She is the presiding judge in the area of domestic relations. She has been a municipal judge and is a graduate of both the Alabama Judicial College and the National Judicial College in Reno. Judge Childers is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the Birmingham School of Law. Judge Childers is married to retired H.S. football and basketball Coach L. Childers. Judge Childers has one daughter who is also an attorney. She has lived in Birmingham’s Highland Park Neighborhood for 40 years. Her Democratic opponent is Patricia Ann Stephens.
‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ talked with Ginger McCord Barbee who is running for Jefferson County Probate Judge Place #2. Barbee has been a practicing attorney for 15 years following a 35 year career in education. She has a Masters in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado, a B.S. in education from U. of Alabama, and a law degree from the Birmingham School of Law. She serves on the Board of Directors HUD projects overseeing six mental health facilities. Barbee also served on the Board of Directors of the Eastside Mental Health Center. Barbee has been married for 34 years to Ronald Barbee, a retired building contractor. They have two children: Deborah Anne and Jonathon. Her Democratic opponent is incumbent Judge Sherri Friday.