By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, Republican voters in Alabama state House District 104 go to the polls to elect a representative to replace Rep. Jim Barton who resigned to take a job as a lobbyist.
Competing in the special election are: Susan Hightower, Nathan Davis, Margie Wilcox, Ralph Carmichael, and Charlie Plyler.
Susan Hightower is a realtor, small business owner, and the wife of state Senator Bill Hightower (R). Hightower has been endorsed by the Alabama Forestry Association, the Alabama Alliance Against Abortion, and the Alabama Retail Association.
Susan Hightower is the owner of: Wee Exchange and Little Monkey Toes. She is also a licensed real estate broker. In July, Little Monkey Toes was awarded the 2013 Nappie Award for Mobile’s Best Children’s Clothing Store.
On her campaign website, Hightower said that she believes there are many viable options to educate our children, and parents should be able to decide which alternative is the best choice for their child and their family. Hightower promises that some of the issues she will address as a legislator include: coastal Insurance Reform, facilitating community action groups such as Southern Skyline Community, bringing more industry into South Mobile County, nurturing small businesses, decrease government, and education.
Ralph Carmichael is a small businessman, a retired pastor, and former missionary. He has also worked for Ford and for the West Bay Christian Center. Carmichael is among a growing number of Black conservatives who are running as Republicans in Alabama. The Alabama Republican Party is hopeful that that translates into more Alabama Blacks voting Republican in future elections.
Carmichael said on Facebook, “The special election for House District 104 is Tuesday, October 15. If you want a balanced budget, a representative who will represent ALL the residents of House District 104; cast your vote for me. I believe my experience in business, education background and desire to serve the residents of this district makes me the right choice. A vote for me, is a vote for you.”
Margie Wilcox owns several cab and transit companies in South Alabama and West Florida.
Wilcox said on her website that for more than 20 years she Margie has served on the government relations committees of the Business Council of Alabama, Chamber, and transportation organizations.
If elected Wilcox promises to reduce the size of government, publish most government documents on the web, and strengthen Alabama’s ethic laws. Wilcox said on her website: “Just a few years ago our republican leadership did a great job in passing new laws to improve our trust and confidence in elected leadership. Unfortunately the loop holes have been found. Double dippers are still double dipping and the old revolving door is spinning even faster. I am a cheerleader for the conservative leadership in our state and I want to join them with a push to close those holes and keep the promise to be the most honest and transparent leadership in the history of Alabama!”
Margie Wilcox went to work for Mobile Bay Enterprises as a bookkeeper in 1977. She worked her way to management and eventually bought a division of the company in 1992. In 2001 she formed Pensacola Bay Transportation, L.L.C., purchased Yellow Cab of Mobile in January 2007 and purchased Yellow Cab of Baldwin County in August 2007.
Margie Wilcox was raised in Theodore, is pro-life and pro-family. Margie is a charter member of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. On her website Wilcox said, “As a practicing Catholic she believes that we shouldn’t be afraid to pray to God. Margie believes that we should embrace our faith and acknowledge that our country was founded recognizing a higher power. Praying at home, in church, at school, or in the car is a way of life which we should embrace. We need more prayer, not less.”
Charlie Plyler was a manager of a successful Honda dealership. Plyler said on his website, “I am optimistic with Alabama’s economic outlook. Unemployment it still too high at 6.4%, but trending in the right direction. Our leaders must remain focused on the economy.” “I will be an advocate for the small business owner and fight excessive regulations. Small businesses account for 49.3% of all private-sector jobs in Alabama according to a recent report. What is good for small business is good for Alabama.”
Plyler said that, “Larger Companies locating in Alabama are also essential to the long-term economic growth of the state. The economic impact of large companies like EADS and Airbus locating in Mobile extends far beyond their initial expenditures and economic output from the main company. Separate small business support -companies and local vendors almost immediately come on the scene. Alabama must work to remain a business-friendly state. We also know that we must have an educated workforce, as well as, an adequate infrastructure to attract these large companies.”
Plyler said. “With a high Quality of Life and low taxes, we can bring people and businesses into the state. – Alabama is a beautiful, friendly state. If we give people a reason to visit Alabama, they will come back. Some of these areas include the Alabama State Park system with its 22 state parks.”
On improving Alabama’s National Public Image, Plyler wrote, “It is extremely important that the State’s leaders continue to work to improve Alabama’s national public image. Too many politicians try to “grandstand” in order to draw attention to themselves while bringing negative press towards the great state of Alabama.”
Charlie Plyler favors auditing state-supported college and Universities to make sure that tuition increases are justified. Plyler also promised to be an advocate for the autistic, adoption rights, and Pro Life legislation. Other issues important to Plyler include: housing and coastal Insurance reform, protecting private property rights, second amendment rights, term limits, and energy. Plyler wrote, “Alabama has been blessed with a number of natural resources including Natural Gas and Coal. The EPA is making it life much more difficult on Coal companies and Coal-fired power plant. This is going to affect jobs and will raise the cost of power to Alabama customers. We must make sure that these companies are environmentally aware, but do what we can on a state level to make sure these regulations do not go too far.”
Nathan Davis is an operations manager for an air conditioning distributor. Davis is a vocal critic of the controversial common core standards. According to original reporting by al.com, Davis called common core “a top down, one-size-fits-all program for all children.”
Davis supports the Alabama Accountability Act. Davis said that if a school is ot viable then it should close. “Why keep a stone school afloat with taxpayer money when we can send them to a school more qualified to teach them?”
Davis has been married for three years and has a new child with his current wife and a son from a previous marriage.
Nathan Davis was Rep. Jim Barton’s primary challenger in 2010 and won over 34% of the vote.
Davis said, “I’m running for the exact same reason I ran last time,” he said. “I’m seriously worried about the future of my children and our country. I’m an optimist and a realist. I cannot ignore Washington and the national debt and 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.
Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on Tuesday.
The winner of the Republican Primary will still have to face Democrat Stephen Carr II.