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House District 31 Republican Primary is Today

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Today Coosa and Elmore County Republicans go to the polls to select who will represent them in the the Alabama legislature over the next year.

The winner will finish the remaining term of former 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.

Michael Griggs, 45, is a Tallassee attorney. Griggs told the Wetumpka Tea Party at their candidate forum that he has been practicing law for about 10 years, is a graduate of Jones School of Law and Auburn University in Montgomery. His wife of 22 years is a kindergarten teacher.  Griggs calls himself a Christian Conservative and attends the First Assembly of God Church in Tallassee where he is an associate pastor.

Griggs said that he is both fiscally and morally conservative and believes in the Biblican definition of marriage and the Biblical definition of a human being.  Griggs is a veteran of the Army National Guard and has been deployed overseas.  Griggs worked for the Department of Transportation where he did the full gamut of work at the DOT.  He spent two years as an investigator at the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.  After becoming an attorney he worked at the District Court in Montgomery, joined a large law firm, and for the last ten years has been working in his own practice in Tallassee.

Griggs said, “I believe in the American Dream and I believe that that dream is harder to reach now than ever in history.  “We shouldn’t serve the government the government should serve us.”  Griggs said that he believe in not rewarding laziness.

Frank Bertarelli, 47, is the owner of Zap Pest Control in Wetumpka. Bartarelli told the Wetumpka Tea Party that he is running on economic recovery for all.  Bertaralli said he wanted to keep taxes low and supports maintaining road and bridge infrastructure.  Bertaralli said that success begins with a good education system.  Bertaralli supports tech centers. “Our school system needs to be strong.”

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Bartarelli said on his website, “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 that they have always run their dealership on honesty and integrity.  Collier is a graduate of Auburn University, worked for the First National Bank of Montgomery after graduation then after three years went to work for the Ford dealership where he is today.  Collier told the Wetumka Tea Party, “I am a conservative Republican.”  He has been married to his wife Carroll for 46 years and they have four children all of whom have graduated from Auburn University.

Two of his children work in the dealership with him and their responsiblities there allows him the time to serve District 31.  “Family is what I live for.”  Collier told the Wetumpka Tea Party that the amount of regulations that the small businessman has to deal with is “ridiculous.”

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Collier said, “District 31 has been my home all my life,” and that he knows all the elected officials by name, is a proven community leader, and is a former Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, has been chairman of the Rotary Club.  Collier said that he knows how to deal and how to make deals so that District 31 comes out on top.

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.

The Special Republican Primary election in Alabama House District 31 is on Today, 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.

Mike Holmes, 71, said on Facebook, “To the Voters of House District 31:
As you go to the polls tomorrow, please consider the following: strength of character and integrity are paramount when considering a candidate for elected office; experience and proven track record for success are very important elements; common sense, conservative leadership qualities
must also be considered. Make a conscientious choice to vote for the best candidate to represent your House District 31.  I am asking for your consideration as the candidate who can best represent you as your HOUSE DISTRICT 31 REPRESENTATATIVE. Please exercise your right to vote tomorrow, December 3rd.”

Holmes has promised to take grassroots values to the State House and has emphasized his experience as a salesman, a timber farmer, a business owner and a CEO for a multimillion dollar company and promises to hold the line on reckless spending and ensure that the state continues to get its fiscal house in order.

Holmes’ campaign for House District 31 has received endorsements from Wetumpka Tea Party President and founder Becky Gerritson, the influential Alabama Forestry Association and the Conservative Christians of Alabama.

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

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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23rd Alabama inmate dies with COVID-19

There have been 409 total positive COVID-19 cases among inmates and 392 total among employees as of Sept. 26.

John H. Glenn

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The Alabama Department of Corrections on Friday reported the 23rd COVID-19 death among inmates in the state’s prisons.

Christopher Nalls, a 59-year-old inmate serving a 15-year sentence, died Sept. 10 at a local hospital in Hamilton, Alabama.

Nalls was moved to the local hospital on Aug. 31 to receive treatment for pre-existing health conditions unrelated to COVID-19.

His admission test upon entering the hospital was negative, and after treatment, Nalls was discharged Sept. 4.

Upon return, Nalls’s condition worsened, and he was readmitted Sept. 10. He died later that same day. A postmortem COVID-19 test showed Nalls died with COVID-19.

ADOC did not report any other positive COVID-19 cases among inmates in correctional facilities. But in the same report Friday, ADOC reported six new positive cases among staff, bringing the staff total to 28 active cases.

ADOC’s Office of Health Services initiated investigations into possible prolonged exposures between positive staff members and inmates or employees.

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There have been 409 total positive COVID-19 cases among inmates and 392 total among employees as of Sept. 26.

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Courts

Sen. Doug Jones won’t support SCOTUS nominee before Nov. 3 election

“Certainly, power grabs are not uncommon in our political system, but few are accompanied by such blatant hypocrisy as we are witnessing now,” Jones said.

Eddie Burkhalter

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Incumbent U.S. Sen. Doug Jones during a livestreamed press briefing. (VIA DOUG JONES CAMPAIGN)

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, on Friday said he would not support any nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court before the outcome of the Nov. 3 election is determined. 

Speaking during a livestreamed briefing, Jones said that while Republicans appear to have enough votes to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he will not be a party to denying the people a voice in the process in the election of the next president “in just under 44 days.” 

President Donald Trump said Saturday that he plans to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg, who on Friday became the first woman, and first Jewish person, to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. 

Several Republicans who voiced opposition to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court more than 10 months before the 2016 election have reversed course, and now say they support Trump nominating a selection with election day just a little more than a month away. 

“Certainly, power grabs are not uncommon in our political system, but few are accompanied by such blatant hypocrisy as we are witnessing now,” Jones said. “In fact, I believe that the level and intensity of hypocrisy being displayed by Senator McConnell and the president, with regard to the rush to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s successor, is unmatched in the history of our constitutional government.” 

Jones said what McConnell and other Republicans should be focusing on instead is getting another round of much-needed COVID-19 aid to small businesses and people impacted by the pandemic. 

“Rather than pushing this confirmation to the top of the Senate calendar, the majority leader should turn his focus instead to protecting the lives and livelihoods of the American people. We should pass a new bipartisan COVID-19 stimulus package to give Americans and businesses the relief that they desperately need, and that economists say if required to shore up the economy now,” Jones said. 

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Jones expressed concern as well for what medical experts are warning could be a new spike in COVID-19 nationwide. 

“There could be an even greater urgency, if our health care professionals’ warnings come to pass,” Jones said. “And that is as temperature drops and people go indoors that this virus spikes, and we see another surge.” 

Asked why his opponent, Tommy Tuberville, won’t debate Jones, he said, “It’s pretty simple. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”  

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“He has no clue. He is Coach Clueless,” Jones said. 

Jones noted that when asked recently on his thoughts on extending the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020, Tuberville stumbled through an answer that indicated he wasn’t sure what the Voting Rights Act was.

“He had no earthly idea,” Jones said. 

Jones said Tuberville isn’t going to debate him because Tuberville doesn’t want to talk about issues.

“He doesn’t want to talk about a plan. His plan is simply this: Whatever Donald Trump says, I’m good,” Jones said, “and if Donald Trump says or does something that is not good, it’s crickets coming from Coach Tuberville.” 

Jones noted that after multiple news outlets, including Fox News, confirmed reporting that Trump had said disparaging things about veterans who died in combat, Tuberville has not spoken out against Trump’s comments. 

Jennifer Griffin, senior national security correspondent for Fox News, reported that she has spoken to senior U.S. officials who backed up reporting by The Atlantic, and said Trump said of the Vietnam War “anyone who went was a sucker.” 

“He has not said a thing about what was confirmed by Fox News about the president’s comment,” Jones said of Tuberville. “That’s just disgraceful.”

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SEC college football season begins

In August, it appeared that there could potentially be no college football season.

Brandon Moseley

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(VIA AUBURN UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS)

The delayed Southeastern Conference college football season is now underway as Auburn on Saturday hosted Kentucky. The University of Alabama will be playing the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Kickoff for the Kentucky vs. Auburn game was at 11 a.m., and the kickoff for the Alabama vs. Missouri game will be at 6 p.m. Auburn defeated Kentucky 29 to 13.

In August, it appeared that there could potentially be no college football season. The Ivy League, the SWAC, the University of Connecticut, the MAC, the Big 10, the PAC 12, and the Mountain West conferences all announced that they would postpone the 2020 football season to spring.

The unlikely prospect of playing two shortened college football seasons in one calendar year seemed to be the best hope of there even being a college football season. But college football is not like other sports and there is no central governing authority. Each conference makes decisions for itself.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and SEC both met and each decided that they would play this fall — regardless of if any of the other conferences were playing. The Big 12 eventually joined the SEC and ACC.

The SEC will play a 10-game, conference-only season that ends with an SEC Championship game on Dec. 19. Both Alabama and Auburn will have fans in the stands, but both schools are limiting capacity — at least for their home openers. Attendees must wear masks or cloth face coverings and social distancing rules will apply.

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Many states, including Alabama, are playing high school football, and the NFL is in its third week of play. Last week, the Big 12 reversed their earlier decision to sit out this fall and announced an 8-week, conference-only season starting in October. On Thursday, the PAC 12 voted to play a seven-game, conference-only season starting in November, followed by a Dec. 19 championship game. The Mountain West has also voted to play a fall season and the Mid-American Conference is voting, and the colleges are expected to green light an abbreviated fall season.

President Donald Trump had strenuously urged colleges to play this football season.

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UAB, South Alabama and Troy University have already begun their Conference USA and Sunbelt Conference football seasons. UAB defeated South Alabama 42 to 10 on Thursday night.

While few young people have actually died from COVID-19, some university presidents in the Big 10 expressed concerns about the long-term health effects on COVID-19 on survivors, including incidents of heart inflammation.

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Congress

Republicans blast Jones for refusal to even consider Trump nominee

Brandon Moseley

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Republicans criticized U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, on Friday for saying that he would not vote to confirm any nominee by President Donald Trump before the Nov. 3 election.

Alabama Republican Party chair Terry Lathan called Jones’s announcement “disgraceful.”

“It’s disgraceful that Senator Jones is dismissing his duties when he announced he would not support the confirmation of any Supreme Court justice nominee put forth by President Trump prior to the November election,” Lathan said in a statement. “The Constitution of our country clearly states that the President ‘shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…judges of the Supreme Court…’”

“At the very least, Senator Jones owes Alabamians the simple courtesy of meeting with the nominee regardless of what he already plans to do,” Lathan continued. “It’s time for him to do his job, at least until November 3rd.”

“The people of our great state have spoken,” Lathan concluded. “The majority support President Trump and his policies which includes the conservative judges he has nominated for the federal bench. However, Doug Jones continues to ignore the wishes of the majority of his constituents and falls in line with his liberal party bosses, Hollywood supporters and New York fundraisers. On Election Day, Alabamians will give their advice and consent to remove Doug Jones from office. Tommy Tuberville will represent the majority’s values when he is elected as our next U.S. Senator.”

On Friday, Jones was asked if he would even meet with the nominee. His response was, “I don’t think my vote’s going to count, so I doubt they’ll even want to.”

“The President’s nominee hasn’t even been announced but anti-Trump Democrat Doug Jones has already made up his mind against the person,” said NRSC spokesperson Paige Lindgren. “Refusing to take part in a consequential Supreme Court confirmation process is the latest example that Jones has one foot out the door. He’s clearly no longer focused on representing the people of Alabama.”

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Former State Rep. Perry Hooper Jr., a Trump supporter, said that Jones votes against “everything that the people of Alabama believe in.”

“Doug Jones has consistently voted against the President and everything the good people of Alabama believe in.” Hooper said. “Jones is against the 2nd Amendment, he is for government funded abortions and he is a globalist. Alabama needs to send a strong pro-life, pro-business, pro-Trump and pro-American to Washington DC. And that man is Coach Tommy Tuberville.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has vowed to bring the president’s pick to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

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“Thank God for Senator Mitch McConnell,” Hooper said. “Senator McConnell has 51 votes to confirm the President’s nominee to the US Supreme Court.”

Conservatives are hopeful that a more conservative court will vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court precedent that prevents state governments from banning abortions.

“Senator Doug Jones betrayed Alabamians when he voted against Justice Kavanaugh and has betrayed them again today, before President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has even been named,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. “During his short time in office, Jones has proven to be an extremist, repeatedly siding against constituents and voting with the most radical members of his party – like Kamala Harris – in favor of abortion on demand through birth, paid for by taxpayers. Asked about his stance on limiting late-term abortions more than halfway through pregnancy, Senator Jones laughed and called the issue ‘stupid.’ Jones is unfit to represent the pro-life, pro-Trump state of Alabama and will be held accountable at the ballot box.”

Many media sources are reporting that Trump will appoint Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the court left by the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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