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Burton R. LeFlore Launches Congressional Campaign for U.S. Dist. 01 Alabama

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MOBILE— Burton R. LeFlore is a candidate for Congress. Currently he is running for the U. S. District 01 Seat in Alabama. U.S. District 01 includes Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Washington, Clarke and Monroe counties. Since 1965, Alabama’s US District 01 has been held by Republicans. LeFlore intends to be the first Democratic candidate elected to that Congressional seat in almost 50 years.

LeFlore was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. His family came to Mobile around the turn of the 19th century and they have been a part of establishing LeFlore’s deep roots and rich heritage in Mobile. LeFlore attended St. Paul’s Episcopal School and graduated high school at John L. LeFlore High School. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of South Alabama and later completed his law degree at the Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, Florida.

LeFlore said he started to develop an interest in state and federal law making while a student at Florida State Law School. While living in Tallahassee, I started to follow the Florida Legislature. It became apparent to me that state and federal lawmakers implemented policies and affected the quality of life of the citizens of our country.

“I also realized that each lawmaker brought to the table their own individual personalities, experiences and beliefs which played a primary role in their decision making,” he said.

According to LeFlore, Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Washington, Clarke and Monroe counties are about to experience unparalleled growth. Although the area has been on the International forefront for years, our district is about to be officially on the map.

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There are some major industries located here and there are more to come. Jobs are on the radar for District 01 and we need to work to bring about those jobs, said LeFlore.

“Our educational system is failing and we need to do whatever we can to make our children’s education the best, because our children are our future,” LeFlore said.

“As a father of five, I am concerned about my children’s future and the future of all of the youth of this district and across the country,” he said. “I want to see all young people have access to a quality education and to outstanding athletic programs in their school and in their communities,” LeFlore said.

LeFlore is also committed to conserving our natural resources. He said, “Alabama has a wealth of natural resources like farmland, forestland, lakes, rivers, the Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This makes it imperative that we take every step to conserve our environment. However, he said, we need to do everything we can to bring the jobs, businesses and economic opportunity here,” said LeFlore.

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“All we have to do is work together and we can achieve our objectives in bringing about the necessary funding Alabama needs to dredge the Alabama Ship Channel to make way for expanding the Alabama State Docks,” LeFlore said. “ In my opinion it’s time for the Alabama State Docks to become the foremost shipyard and railroad yard in the world.”

According to LeFlore, one of the things that motivated him to run for Congress is the fact Congressman Jo Bonner resigned and there is now an open seat. A special election is about to be held with a Primary on September 24th.

He said after having just lost an election in a legislative race the opportunity to run for this Congressional seat availed itself. LeFlore said all I wanted to do was to win the legislative position; however, then former Congressman Bonner announced he was resigning and I decided to run for Congress.

Furthermore, LeFlore said he realizes that our country is in a crisis. Our local and national economy is shot to the rim. The real estate market has gone belly up with many people in foreclosure or wanting to sell property they are unable to liquidate. There are thousands of homeless people in this area and across America.

Hundreds of people are without homeowners insurance or paying ridiculous insurance rates due to natural disasters like Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Katrina which our federal government still has not properly addressed with the citizens of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.

According to LeFlore, financial institutions are reluctant to make loans. There are thousands of people in this district and across the country who are unemployed. The education our children are receiving is substandard. Our country and our community is in a major recession and it seems that most of the policies and bills being proposed and enacted by Congress are only driving the country further into a recession instead of into some form of economic recovery.

“However, with a lot of the things going on in this area, we may start to see some daylight in Mobile, Baldwin, Clarke, Washington and Escambia Counties. This region could potentially see ourselves bouncing back from this poor economy and pulling ourselves out of this recession a little quicker than the rest of the country,” said LeFlore.

LeFlore said, “I believe all of the citizens of Alabama US District 01 want new industry and want to protect our natural resources. I believe all of the citizens of South Alabama want to see every child get a quality education. However, we have to rise to the occasion of bringing about change in southern Alabama,” said LeFlore.

With the arrival of Airbus and the already existing Mobile Aerospace this state and community needs to obtain adequate funding to assist in what I have termed the Brookely Field Project.

According to LeFlore, we need to make major improvements to Brookley Field to accommodate Airbus and Mobile Aerospace and all of the subsidiary businesses that will follow.

Conservative Republicans always want to talk about that old George Wallace “Good old conservative Alabama values.” He said, “we all know what that means,”

“I would like to propose a new hypothesis for you. Let’s work to promote and represent a NEW SOUTH ALABAMA and good NEW SOUTHERN ALABAMA VALUES,” LeFlore said. “It’s time we start to work collectively for a unified NEW SOUTH ALABAMA.”

According to LeFlore:

“My definition of NEW SOUTHERN ALABAMA VALUES is good paying jobs; exceptional educational opportunities for our children; adequate quality housing; improving our economy; creating economic opportunities not just in Mobile but in the rural surrounding communities; improving the overall quality of life for all of our citizens. Residents of South Alabama want to enjoying our parks, museums, local entertainment, good food, sporting events, bike trails, jogging paths, tennis courts, swimming pools, hunting camps, golf courses, great fishing holes and the abundance of recreational activities in this region.”

“People of Southern Alabama are spoiled because we have a great climate and a great community in which to live. With the proposed major growth in our economy and in our potential job market, we have to be ready for that change and ready to face the challenges that prosperity and economic opportunity will bring,” said LeFlore.

“Although economic growth and jobs are coming our way, we have to work to protect our environment and natural resources,” LeFlore said.

“Mobilian’s are going to have to get beyond their complacent crab in the bucket attitudes and realize the opportunities and jobs are developing and they are going to continue to materialize, he said. It’s time to wake up and seize the moment and get in where you fit in and not let these opportunities pass you by,” said LeFlore.

“It’s time to make sure there are adequate training programs for citizens to obtain the necessary training and preparation to apply for these jobs and be competitive potential employees in the marketplace,” according to LeFlore.

Voters should pledge their support for LeFlore because he will work tirelessly to insure economic growth and development in Alabama. He will implement policies that will protect and preserve our natural resources. LeFlore will work to improve our educational system. He will zealously protect and represent the people of this district in Congress and do what is in the best interest for this region of the country.

LeFlore said he will pledge to always ask himself with regard to every Congressional bill, how is this going to affect the people of my district?

He said, “At the end of the day everybody just wants to have a good job, a nice home, economic security, educational opportunities and athletic programs for our children and for ourselves. We want clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. Residents of South Alabama want their communities to be safe and family friendly. That’s the SOUTH ALABAMA AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE that I will work to achieve in Congress.”

LeFlore urges the citizens of Alabama US District 01 to follow this Congressional special election and get out to the polls and put the first Democrat in Congress from Alabama’s United States District 01 in almost 50 years.

“Forty-seven years of Republicans dominating this Congressional district is enough, it’s time for a change, it’s time for something new, it’s time for a Democrat,” said LeFlore.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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Alabama’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Alabama’s ongoing increase in new cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations is especially worrisome for public health experts as flu season arrives and several holidays are just around the corner.

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alabama continues to rise, with 1,789 new cases reported Saturday, despite fewer tests being conducted, and cases are up 55 percent from two weeks ago, based on a 14-day average of daily case increases.

Alabama’s ongoing increase in new cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations is especially worrisome for public health experts as flu season arrives and several holidays are just around the corner.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed 9 million on Thursday, and numerous states were seeing surges in cases and hospitalizations. Nearly 1,000 Americans died from COVID-19 on Wednesday, and the country has reported several days of record-high new cases.

“There’s going to be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House coronavirus task force adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in a CNBC interview Wednesday. “We are on a very difficult trajectory. We are going in the wrong direction.”

There were 960 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Alabama on Friday, and the seven-day average of daily hospitalizations hit 976 on Friday, the highest it’s been since Sept. 2 and 29 percent higher than a month ago.

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More than 1,000 hospitalizations were reported in Alabama on Tuesday for the first time since August. Huntsville Hospital was caring for 163 coronavirus patients Friday, the largest number since Aug. 19. UAB on Friday had 58 COVID-19 patients and has been hovering between 60 and 70 patients for the last several weeks.

While the number of new cases is rising, the number of tests being performed has been declining. Over the last two weeks, Alabama reported, on average, 6,961 cases per day, 9 percent fewer cases than a month ago.

The rising cases and declining tests are also reflected in the percentage of tests that are positive, which on Saturday was well above public health experts’ target of 5 percent or below. 

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The state’s positivity rate on Saturday was 21 percent, according to APR‘s tracking of new cases and reported tests over the past two weeks. Many other COVID-19 tracking projects calculate the state’s percent positivity by dividing the 7- and 14-day averages of daily case increases by the 7- and 14-day averages of daily test increases.

The Alabama Department of Public Health calculates the positivity rate differently, instead dividing the number of daily cases by the number of individuals who have been tested, rather than the total number of tests done, as some people may have more than one test performed.

There are no federal standards on how states are to report COVID-19 testing data, and a myriad of state health departments calculate positivity rates differently. 

Even so, ADPH’s own calculations show Alabama’s percent positivity is nearly double where public health experts say it needs to be, or else cases are going undetected. According to ADPH’s calculations, the percent positivity on Oct. 24 was 9.6 percent, up 33 percent from the 7.2 percent positivity on Sept. 26. 

As of Saturday, there have been 2,967 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths reported in Alabama, with 427 reported this month, 19 percent more deaths than were reported in September.

On Saturday, ADPH reported 35 confirmed and probable deaths. 

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Alabama Democrats launch “biggest” turnout campaign in their history

“Our organizers and volunteers have been working relentlessly to turn out the vote,” the Alabama Democratic Party said.

Brandon Moseley

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The Alabama Democratic Party said Friday that they have launched the biggest get-out-the-vote campaign in their history in a bid to re-elect U.S. Sen. Doug Jones.

“We’ve made over 3.5 million voter contacts this election cycle,” the ADP wrote in an email to supporters. “Today, we’ve started the biggest GOTV campaign in our history. We will be contacting voters around the clock from now until Election Day. As it stands, we have enough money to reach about 91 percent of the voters in our GOTV universe.”

“Our organizers and volunteers have been working relentlessly to turn out the vote,” the ADP said. “They are contacting voters in all 67 Alabama counties, making sure every Democrat has a plan to vote on Nov. 3.”

On Saturday, Jones will make several campaign stops throughout the Birmingham area to encourage voters to turn out on Election Day. He will make stops in his hometown of Fairfield as well as in Bessemer, Pratt City and East Lake.

Jefferson County is the Alabama Democratic Party’s main stronghold in the conservative state of Alabama. Mobilizing Democratic voters to come out, especially in Jefferson County, is essential if they are to have any hope of re-electing Jones, who has been trailing in public polling.

Jones’s shocking upset of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in the 2017 special election is the only statewide race that the Alabama Democratic Party has won since 2008.

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Jones had a decided advantage in money in that contest to saturate the airwaves and fund a GOTV effort to reach Democratic voters in the special election.

The Jones campaign is trying to build upon that success, but it is an uphill battle and he’s widely viewed as the most vulnerable Democratic senator up for re-election in 2020.

This time, Jones’s Republican opponent is not hamstrung by allegations of sexual misconduct and Trump is at the top of this ticket. The president remains popular in Alabama even if his support has waned in some other states.

Jones needs both an unusually strong Democratic turnout and for a large number of Trump voters to split their ticket and vote for Jones instead of his Republican opponent, Tommy Tuberville.

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Roughly half of Alabamians are straight-ticket voters.

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Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh won’t seek re-election in 2022

Marsh said it would be up to the Republican caucus to decide whether he’ll remain pro tem for the last two years of his term.

Eddie Burkhalter

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Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston.

Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, R-Anniston, the top Republican member of Alabama’s upper chamber, will not seek re-election in 2022. 

Marsh told The Anniston Star, which first reported the story, that he will also not run for governor or the U.S. Senate in 2022 or in the future.

Marsh’s decision to not run again will bring an end to a 24-year career in state politics. Marsh, 64, made school choice a focus of his legislative work over the years, championing charter schools and wrote the Senate’s version of the 2014 Alabama Accountability Act, which allows for tax credits for those who make donations to scholarships for students at private schools. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Marsh found himself on the other side of public health experts’ understanding of the disease, suggesting to a reporter that he’d actually like to see more people become infected to build the state’s overall immunity to the virus, a theory that public health experts say would lead to thousands of unnecessary deaths and many more illnesses. 

Marsh also battled Gov. Kay Ivey over the expenditure of $1.8 billion in federal coronavirus relief aid over the summer, suggesting early on that the state should spend $200 million of that money on a new Statehouse, which drew widespread public condemnation.

The Alabama Legislature later approved Ivey’s plan to spend the federal aid, which does not include a new Statehouse. 

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Marsh explained to AL.com on Friday that during his tenure, the Republican-controlled Legislature has put Alabama’s fiscal well-being on solid ground. 

“Fiscally, I think we’re as strong as a state as we’ve ever been. I think this COVID has shown how financially secure the state is through our policies. I feel very good about our accomplishments,” he told the outlet. “But there comes a time for everything and I just want to make it clear that I do not intend to seek election in 2022.”

Marsh said it would be up to the Republican caucus to decide whether he’ll remain pro tem for the last two years of his term.

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Alabama Power reports progress on restoring power following Hurricane Zeta

Alabama Power said 131,000 outages remain and that the utility provider expects to have service restored to 95 percent of affected customers by Tuesday.

Brandon Moseley

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Crews work to restore power after Hurricane Zeta. (VIA ALABAMA POWER COMPANY)

Alabama Power said Saturday that its crews have restored power to 373,000 customers following Hurricane Zeta, which caused more than 504,000 outages at peak.

As of Saturday at 2:12 p.m., Alabama Power said 131,000 outages remain and that the utility provider expects to have service restored to 95 percent of affected customers by Tuesday.

 

 

Hurricane Zeta hit Louisiana as a category two hurricane on Wednesday before ripping through Mississippi and Alabama. There is an enormous amount of damage across the footprint of the Southern Company, the parent of Alabama Power.

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Alabama Power has said the impact of the storm is similar to what the company experienced during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the April 27, 2011 tornadoes.

Because Zeta was so fast-moving, it did not lose much of its strength as it moved inland. Much of the state experienced tropical-storm-force winds. There is significant, widespread damage throughout the state.

Alabama Power is having to deal with downed poles and trees that knocked out wires. The company’s crews are working with more than 1,700 lineworkers and support personnel from 19 states and Canada.

Alabama Power said that its crews are working quickly and safely to restore power and will continue to work on restoring power over the weekend.

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Alabama Power storm team evaluators, line crews and support personnel worked throughout the day Thursday and Friday assessing damage and repairing poles and wires damaged in the storm.

Crews are working diligently and as quickly and safely as possible to restore service, the company said.

Remember that there are line crews working along roadways all across the state. Cities, counties and homeowners are still working on debris removal so drive slowly and give yourself more time to get where you are going while out.

Alabama Power warns everyone to stay away from downed power lines, as well as fallen trees and tree limbs that could be hiding downed lines. Always assume a downed line is still energized and poses a potentially deadly hazard.

If you spot a downed line, call Alabama Power at 1-800-888-2726 or local law enforcement and wait for trained crews to perform the potentially dangerous work of removing the line or any surrounding debris.

Hurricane season lasts until the end of November.

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