By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Voters in Etowah and Northern St. Clair County go to the polls for the House District 30 Special Election to decide whether Etowah County School Board Member Mack Butler (R) or lawyer Beth McGlaughn (D) will represent them in the Alabama House.
Etowah County School Board Member (and former School Board President) Mack Butler said in a written statement to voters, “I ask that you please make voting on Tuesday, December 11th an absolute priority! This election day is an important one, and your voice needs to be heard. Please vote for “Conservative” Mack N. Butler for Alabama State House District 30. I will work to: create jobs and improve our economy by cutting wasteful spending and keeping taxes low, make government more ethical and transparent, and protect our way of life and preserve moral, Christian values that strengthen Alabama families.”
McGlaughn told ‘The Gadsden Times, “Education to me is the future of our children,” and was critical of what she thought was efforts to blame teachers for the state’s fiscal woes. McGlaughn is an attorney with 20 years experience practicing law.
Butler told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’, “I plan to take my 10 years on the Etowah County Board of Education overseeing an 80 Million dollar Budget, 1100 Employees, which is the 3rd Largest Employer in Etowah County, plus my over 27 years as a small business owner to the State House representing State House District 30.”
McGlaughn told the Gadsden Times that bringing new businesses to the district is a concern of hers and that she would consider increasing revenues: “It would be important to consider the benefits to the tax base or budget versus the detriments to the people, businesses and groups that the increase would impact.” McGlaughn’s husband is about to be deployed to Afghanistan.
Representative Jim McClendon (R) from Springville told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that he is enthusiastically supporting Butler feels that he is well qualified for the office, and is looking forward to Butler joining the Republican caucus in Montgomery.
Butler is in his second term on the school board and is owner of Butler Electric (an electrical contractor) as well as Butler Properties, which is an Etowah County developer. Butler is also a former head of the Etowah County Republican Party. Butler told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that District 30 would have more influence and benefit from electing a Republican than by sending a Democrat to a Republican controlled state legislature.
District 30 includes Southside, Rainbow City, Whorton’s Bend, Glencoe, Altoona, Gallant, and Walnut Grove in Etowah County, & Steele, Ashville and Ragland in St. Clair County.
The seat became vacant when incumbent state Representative Blaine Galliher (R) vacated the seat when he became the Legislative Director for Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R).
Both Galliher and Bentley have endorsed Butler. In addition to Galliher, Bentley, and McClendon: Butler has also been endorsed by Senator Jeff Sessions (R), Congressman Robert Aderholt, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan, Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn, State Senator Phil Williams, State Representative Becky Nordgren, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, State Board of Education Member Mary Scott Hunter, Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin, St. Clair County Sheriff Terry Surles, Etowah County Commissioner Tim Choate, Etowah County Commissioner Larry Payne, and Etowah County Commissioner Joey Statum.
Butler defeated Steele insurance agent Rob McHugh in the Special Election Republican Primary. McHugh has since endorsed Butler. Beth McGlaughn was unchallenged in the Democratic Primary.
The special election is on Tuesday, December 11th. Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.