By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Four Republicans are on Tuesday’s special Republican primary ballot vying to replace state Rep. Barry Mask (R), who resigned at the end of September to take a job as the CEO of the Alabama Association of Realtors.
Mike Holmes, 71, said in a prepared statement, “I will take grassroots values to the State House. I have been a salesman, a timber farmer, a business owner and a CEO for a multimillion dollar company. I know how to meet a payroll and live within my means. Montgomery needs someone who will hold the line on reckless spending and ensure our State continues to get its fiscal house in order.”
Holmes said, “My three main priorities as a legislator will be to prevent the reckless spending of our tax dollars, protect private property rights and shrink the size and scope of state government. Free enterprise works best when our leaders let those who know how to conduct business create an environment where business is unencumbered by needless regulation and restrictions.”
Holmes’ campaign for House District 31 was endorsed by Wetumpka Tea Party President and founder Becky Gerritson. Gerritson said,
“Mike isn’t running because he needs a new hobby he is running because he has studied the issues that face us in Alabama and he knows whats at stake. We need a proven leader, like Mike Holmes, who is guided by his Christian values, his conservative principles and his common sense.”
Mike Holmes has also received endorsements from the influential Alabama Forestry Association and the Conservative Christians of Alabama.
Frank Bertarelli, 47, is the owner of Zap Pest Control in Wetumpka. Bartarelli told the Montgomery Advertiser, “Service runs in my veins, because for the past 17 years, I’ve had the pleasure of serving the great people of Elmore and Coosa Counties through my business, Zap Pest Control. I, like most people, see a need in Montgomery for representatives that place a priority on cutting government spending, creating good-paying jobs, and protecting our conservative values. That’s why I’m running for the State House. As a small business owner, I understand how a budget works. As an employer, I recognize the importance of a strong education system. As a citizen, I believe government works best when it’s not interfering in peoples’ lives.”
Jimmy Collier, 68, is the co-owner and President of Collier Ford in Wetumpka. Collier said on his web site, “Operating a family business for more than 40 years has instilled in me a strong set of conservative business principles. I plan to take the same conservative principles and pro-business approaches to the Alabama State House and help get our state’s economy booming again.”
If elected, Collier said that his focus will be on creating jobs, supporting business, cutting government spending, protecting taxpayers, standing up to special interests and improving schools.
Michael Griggs, 45, is a Tallassee attorney. Griggs told the Montgomery Advertiser, “I see a decline in the way of life, and I want to see what I (can) do at the state level to help,” Griggs said. “I’m an attorney, and as part of my training I represent the people. I have insight into what they need and what they want.”
Griggs is also an outspoken opponent of the Poarch Creek Indian casino in Wetumpka. Griggs reportedly said in a forum, “Gambling to me is a blight just as alcoholism is a blight on society, gambling is a blight on society. To me if we had all the people that are lined up to go to the gambling casinos if they go to churches I think we’d have a lot different aspect on the situation.”
The Special Republican Primary election in Alabama House District 31 is on Tuesday, December 3. Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. If no candidate receives a 50% + 1 vote majority then the top two vote getters will face off in a Special Republican Primary Runoff on January 28.
The 2014 Alabama legislative session begins on January 15.
This special election will be for the District 31 boundaries set following the 2000 Census. In June the winner will run for re-election under the new district boundaries set in redistricting following the 2010 Census