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Redistricting Changes St. Clair County Senate Delegation

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

In 2010 voters in St. Clair County elected State Senators Scott Beason (R) from Gardendale and Del Marsh (R) from Anniston to represent them in the Alabama state Senate.  The redistricting plan that was passed by the Alabama state legislature in the spring special session changed the Alabama Senate representation for almost everyone in St. Clair County.

On Thursday, Alabama State Representative Jim McClendon (R) from Springville told the members of the St. Clair County Republican party gathered in Pell CIty that the redistricting plan which was passed by the Republican dominated state legislature has been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Rep. McClendon said that the plan’s last hurdle to clear was a lawsuit by the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus.  McClendon expressed confidence that the plan would survive the Black Legislator’s lawsuit. “I think their suit is quite frivolous,” he said.

McClendon told the group that a three judge panel has agreed to hear the case.  Former Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor is one of the federal judges on the panel.  McClendon said that he expected to be deposed soon in case, but he said, “The most challenging part of the redistricting is behind us.”

Rep. McClendon is the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Reapportionment.  Sen. Gerald Dial (R) from Lineville is the other Co-Chairman.

Under the new redistricting plan, St. Clair County will fall into the districts of Sen. Beason, Sen. Phil Williams (R) from Rainbow City, and Sen. Jerry Fielding from Sylacauga.  Senator Fielding was elected as a Democrat but has recently begun to caucus with the Senate Republicans.

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Senator Williams addressed the membership of the St. Clair County Republican Party.  He said that his new district will include parts of Etowah, Cherokee, and Dekalb Counties as well as the Northern St Clair County communities of Ashville, Steele, Chandler Mountain, and Ragland.

Sen. Williams said, “I love what I am doing.  This is definitely not a part time job.”  Williams told the St. Clair County Republicans that he was happy to be their new state Senator.

Sen. Williams said that he was a lawyer and an officer in the Alabama National Guard.  He has a wife and two kids. His son is an Army officer.  His daughter is a junior at Auburn University.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said, “Phil Williams is terrific.  One of the up and comers.”

Congressman Mike Rogers (R) from Saks said, “It is great to see Phil here.  He is going to do a great job for you.”

Most of St. Clair County was previously in U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus’s 6th Congressional District; but redistricting moved most of St. Clair County into Rogers 3rd Congressional District.

Etowah County School Board member and candidate for House District 30 state Representative Mack Butler said, “Phil is near and dear to my heart and is also my attorney.”

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Butler also served two terms as Etowah County Republican Party Chairman.  Butler said, “I have a lot of connections in Montgomery.  There is a Democrat running against me.  There is nothing they (a Democrat) can do for the district.”  Butler faces Rob McHugh from Steele in a Republican Special Election on Thursday.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said that the party was committed to helping the winner of the Republican Primary defeat his Democratic Party opponent (Beth McGlaughn (D) from Southside).

Rep. Jim McClendon has previously announced his intention to challenge Senator Fielding for the 11th Senate District if the redistricting plan passed by the legislature is implemented.

 

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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