By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Candidates were at Alabama Republican Party Headquarters early in the business day and were in and out of ALGOP’s building all day. Before noon ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ had talked with over a dozen freshly qualified candidates.
State Auditor Candidate Adam Thompson was the first to file papers with the Alabama Republican Party for the office of State Auditor.
In a written statement, Thompson said that he has crisscrossed the state as a candidate, having travelled approximately 25,000 miles and attended more than 70 GOP meetings since first announcing his candidacy last year.
Thompson said, “I’m proud to be the first one to qualify. I’ve been honored to work for the people of Alabama and I hope they will allow me to continue to do so as the next State Auditor.”
Thompson is opposed to any effort to eliminate the State Auditor’s Office, saying, “I will fight any effort to eliminate the only independent watchdog the citizens of Alabama have in their government. Your tax dollars are too important not to be carefully watched.” Thompson pledged to appoint qualified, conservative people to the Boards of Registrars, the entity charged with registering voters across the state.
Former Shelby County Republican Party Chairman Matt Fridy qualified for Alabama House District 73. House District 73 is a new district in Shelby County, which gained population in the past decade.
Bob Fincher qualified for that Alabama House of Representatives in District 37, where incumbent Rep. Laird is retiring.
Attorney General Luther Strange also filed candidate paperwork and paid the accompanying fee to the Alabama Republican Party, officially qualifying him as a candidate for Alabama Attorney General. While Strange is pleased with what he has accomplished in his first term, he said that there is still a lot of work to be done:
“Our most basic freedoms are currently under attack from a federal government that has gotten out of control, and as Attorney General I’ve fought back against these assaults on our liberty. This country was built on the rule of law, and I took an oath to uphold the US Constitution and laws passed by the state of Alabama. Whether it is the Obama administration’s attempted takeover of our country’s health care system, overly burdensome regulations from the EPA, or infringements on our right to live our lives in accordance with our religious beliefs, I have put the full power of my office into protecting Alabama’s citizens…I am dedicated to protect every Alabama citizen and every Alabama business, so that our state and its economy can continue to prosper.”
Amie Beth Shaver formally qualified to run for State Representative from Alabama House District 43. Shaver said that her campaign has been going well and that she has a busy schedule of activities planned over the next two months. Shaver is a former Miss Alabama, a wife, a mother, and a conservative activist who has a long record of speaking in favor of abstinence. She is pro-life and is opposed to the controversial Common Core standards.
Doug Clark, Arnold Mooney, and Cheryl Ciamarra also filed their qualification papers for District 43 where popular incumbent, Mary Sue McClurkin has announced that she will not seek re-election.
One of the first candidates to file the necessary paperwork at Alabama Republican Party headquarters in Hoover was former Montgomery County Probate Judge Resse Mckinney, Jr. Judge McKinney is running for the position of Alabama Secretary of State.
Judge McKinney said, “I believe government should be responsive to the needs of the public, and I will work tirelessly as your next Secretary of State to advance our conservative principals in Montgomery.”
The Alabama Political Reporter also talked with retired St. Clair County Presiding Judge Jim Hill. Hill is running for state representative in District 50 where the incumbent representative, Jim McClendon, has announced that he is vacating the position to pursue a seat in the State Senate. Prior to serving in the St. Clair County Courts, Judge Hill was the attorney for St. Clair County government as well as city attorney for the City of Moody.
Public Service Commissioner Jeremy Oden also qualified for re-election on Monday. Oden is a long time state representative who was appointed to the PSC by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) to fill the unexpired term of Twinkle Cavanaugh Andress who was elected PSC President in 2012.
State Representative David Standridge similarly filed papers to run for re-election in House District 34. The former Blount County Probate Judge had a long career in law enforcement prior to his service in county and later state government. Standridge is asking voters for a second term in the Alabama legislature.
Republican Sixth District Congressional Candidate Dr. Chad Mathis also officially filed his qualifying paperwork. In addition to qualifying on Monday, Dr. Mathis announced that he raised $356,097.82 since launching his campaign in October. Dr. Mathis said in a written statement, “Thanks in large part to the generosity of friends, family and supporters who have contributed to our campaign, I feel we are on our way to victory. Starting the 1st quarter of 2014 with more than $305,000.00 cash-on-hand shows the strength of this campaign.” Dr. Mathis is an orthopedic surgeon from Indian Springs.
Dr. Mathis said “The impressive financial report we plan to file shows the support I have to repeal and replace Obamacare – and it will be my mission to achieve this the moment I’m sworn into office.”
Alabama Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey was one of the first candidates to file her qualification papers on Monday. Ivey is seeking a second term as Alabama’s Lieutenant Governor. Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan also qualified on Monday to run for a second term.
Others to qualify on Monday included: U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions qualified for re-election. U.S. Representative Mike Rogers is seeking another term in Congressional District Three. Peggy P. Miller Lacher qualified for the seventh judicial circuit judgeship (Calhoun and Cleburne Counties). William C “Bill” Thompson for Court of Civil Appeals Judge.
In the State Senate J.T. “Jabo” Wagoner and Greg Reed both qualified for re-election. Rep. Kerry Rich qualified for re-election in state House District 26. Rep. Bill Roberts in District 13. In House District 24 Nathaniel Ledbetter qualified. In state House District 42 James M. Martin filed. In House District 46 Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins qualified. Mary Scott Hunter qualified for re-election to the Alabama Board of Education. Judge qualifiers: Wes Mobley (Cherokee County), Melody Walker (Cleburne County), Glea Sarrell (Cleburne County), Suzanne Childers (Jefferson County), John “Jay” M Mastin (Marshall County), Brent Craig (Morgan County), Charles B. Langham (Morgan County), and Daniel A. Crowson (Shelby County).
The Alabama Republican Party’s Chairman Bill Armistead wrote in a statement, “Not only will we qualify a record number of Republican candidates this year, but we will elect a record number of Republicans if we all work together for the good of the party. Once the primary is over in June, we must all rally around the victors and give them the support they need to win in the general election in November.”
Chairman Armistead continued, “Everyone at ALGOP headquarters has been working tirelessly to prepare for the qualifying period. We had anticipated opening qualifying on February 3, but the Department of Justice required us to close qualifying on February 7 in order to insure adequate time for the overseas military personnel return their ballots. We look forward to having candidates for state offices come to our new state Republican headquarters to qualify over the next four weeks.” Qualifying is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 PM at party headquarters at 3505 Lorna Road in Hoover on weekdays. Some of the Republican Party staff will be in Montgomery on Wednesday, January 15 at the RSA Plaza from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM to qualify candidates from our state’s capital.
The Alabama Democratic Party is also reportedly actively qualifying candidates.
The deadline for qualifying for office from either of the major parties this year is February 7th. The deadline had been April 4th, but was moved up by Sec. of State Bennett in response to U.S. Department of Justice litigation on behalf of Americans serving overseas.
The party Primaries will be Tuesday, June 3. Most of the eventual Republican nominees will then have to face Democratic and/or minor party or independent opponents in the November election.