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Candidates Line-Up to Fill Barton’s Seat

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–Only a week after Representative Jim Barton (R-Mobile) confirmed rumors that he was, in fact, resigning his seat to take a lucrative lobbying contract with Kinney Capitol Group, candidates are lining up in Mobile to fill the seat in the special election.

Nathan Davis, an opponent of Barton in the 2010 race for the same seat, has announced that he plans to run to fill the vacancy.

Davis is the operations manager of an HVAC business, Mingledorff’s, Inc.. He describes himself as “trying to live day-to-day like everyone else. I’m not wealthy but I’m not starving or not insulated from real world.”

In 2010, Davis won 33 percent of the vote with modest fundraising, raising less than $1,000. He says this is because he was willing to engage with the voters and knock on doors.

Davis wants to run because he “cannot ignore Washington and the national debt,” he says.  “As a state representative, you should represent voters of 104 and the state of Alabama. I’m a big believer in the 10th Amendment and Constitution and it’s going to be my priority to do as much as I can to refute federal mandates and intrusions in our lives.

Davis is joining other Republicans across Alabama in the message that voting Republican locally will combat the work being done in Washington. This is a common theme among several campaigns, despite the fact that state legislators cannot vote in Congress or override the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the Constitution, which establishes federal statutes as the “supreme law of the land.”

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The other candidate who has announced intent to run for the newly vacated district 104 seat is Margie Wilcox, the founder Mobile Bay Transportation, an airport shuttle service.

Wilcox says she plans to use her expertise as a small business owner to effectively represent the people of the district.

“By dealing with municipalities and other governments I’ve dealt with, I’ve seen a disconnect between what it takes to grow and help small business. I’d like to be the sounding board to help make it better and easier to operate a small business in Alabama,” Wilcox says.

The two candidates who have emerged in this race personify the sharp divide between the Tea Party and the Business Council of Alabama. Davis is running on an anti-federal government platform, while Wilcox is running to support businesses.

The campaign finance disclosure reports may confirm the allegiances as soon as they begin to raise money and file monthly reports.

Currently, Davis has appointed a principle campaign committee with the Secretary of State. He appointed himself, Nathan Forrest Davis, as the sole member of the campaign committee on August 12.

Wilcox has not filed her principal campaign committee paperwork with the Secretary of State as of the time of publication.

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According to the Secretary of State’s office, a third candidate has filed to form a campaign committee for this seat who has not released any statements.

Charlie Plyler, a Mobile Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, appointed himself as the sole member of his principle campaign committee on August 14 to run for this seat.

According to Facebook, Plyler qualified with the Alabama Republican Party on Wednesday. He called it an “exciting day” and said that “Lu Ann and I are excited about the opportunity.”

Plyler has posted links to the YellowHammer blog site on his Facebook.

Qualifying for the major party candidates (yes, Nancy Worley, this means you) will end at 5:00 p.m. on August 19.

The special election is set for December 10, following a special primary election on October 15. If a runoff election is necessary, it will be held December 3 and the general election will be postponed to January 28.

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