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Legislative Election Watch

Beth Clayton

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By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–Only two weeks into the official 2014 primary season, many candidates have already filed with the new online reporting system through the Fair Campaign Practices Act.  Many of those who have filed are incumbents, with a one newcomer entering the game.

Seven of the 35 incumbent senators have filed with the Secretary of State. No new candidates have filed, however Representative Todd Greeson has filed to run for the Senate.

Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) has filed to run for senate district 21. Allen sponsored legislation that would have prohibited courts from issuing rulings based on Sharia law or other “foreign law.”

Senator Roger Bedford (D-Russellville) has filed to run for the 6th senate district.  Bedford’s breast cancer bill, which would require the “health department to develop and physicians disseminate information to patients regarding treatment options, reconstructive options, and coverage” passed during the last session.

Senator Slade Blackwell (R-Mountain Brook) has filed to run for senate district 15. Blackwell sponsored numerous bills concerning taxation and insurance.

Representative Todd Greeson (R- ) has filed to run for the eighth senate district. Greeson is currently in the House representing district 24. Greeson sponsored Bedford’s breast cancer legislation in the House.

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Senator Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) has filed to run for the 2nd senate district. Hotzclaw sponsored legislation that would have allowed local school boards to opt out of the state department of education’s calendar. The bill never came up in either house during the last session.

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Senator Bryan Taylor (R-Prattville) has filed to run for senate district 30. Taylor sponsored legislation to change campaign finance law in Alabama, in many ways lifting the ban on PAC to PAC transfers and creating an electronic filing system.

Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) has filed to run for senate district 14. Senator Ward sponsored legislation that made elder abuse and financial exploitation of the elderly a crime.

Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) has filed to run for senate district 27. Whatley sponsored the Kyle Graddy Act, which would permit students to carry auto-injectable epinephrine. The legislation was postponed indefinitely.

In the House, 13 candidates have filed for the 105 house seats. Of the 13, only one is not an incumbent, Matt Fridy, who is running for the new district in Shelby County.

Representative Mike Ball (R-Madison) has filed to run for the 10th house district. Ball sponsored legislation to prevent primary run-off elections by changing the law so that a candidate only needs 35 percent of the vote to win the nomination. That legislation failed.

Representative Elaine Beech (D-Chatom) has filed to run for the 65th house district. In 2012, Beech passed legislation to allow schools to purchase produce directly from local farms.

Representative Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood) has filed to run for house district 46.  DeMarco was a supporter of legislation that would allow schools to reject transfer students under the Accountability Act.

Matt Fridy has declared to run for the new district in Shelby County, house district 73. Fridy is an attorney from Montevallo.

Representative Wayne Johnson (R-Ryland) has filed to run for house district 22. Johnson has sponsored two separate bills to increase penalties for sexual abuse of children.

Representative Darrio Melton (D-Selma) has filed to run for house district 67. Last session, Melton sponsored legislation that would have kept the voter registration window open to allow same-day voter registration. The bill was defeated in committee. Instead, Representative Wes Long (R-Guntersville) was able to pass legislation to shorten the amount of time available to register to vote by seven days.

Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) has filed to run for house district 63. Poole has sponsored legislation in 2012 and 2013 to require individuals seeking a divorce to participate in family education programs if there are minor children involved.

Representative Bill Roberts (R-Jasper) has filed to run for house district 13. Roberts has sponsored numerous bills pertaining to coal mining in the last term.

Representative John Robinson (D-Scottsboro) has filed to run for house district 23. Robinson sponsored a resolution to exonerate the Scottsboro Boys, as they “were the victims of a gross injustice.”

Howard Sanderford (R-Huntsville) has filed to run for house district 20. Sanderford mostly sponsored sunset legislation during the 2013 session.

April Weaver (R-Pelham) has filed to run for the 49th house district. Weaver sponsored House version of Senator Clay Scofield’s  (R-Arab) mandatory transvaginal ultrasound bill in 2012.

Phil Williams (R-Huntsville) has filed to run for the sixth house district. Williams sponsored legislation to prevent the Youthful Offender Act from being applied to those who have committed a Class A Felony. That legislation was indefinitely postponed.

Greg Wren (R-Montgomery) has filed to run for house district 75. Wren sponsored legislation, which died in the basket, that would have limited the amount of money in the general fund budget that could be allocated to Medicaid and also placed a cap on individual benefits per member per month.

As June wraps up, more candidates will file their electronic FCPA reports, which will provide a better idea of the landscape for 2014.

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