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.”
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.”
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