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Senate District 11 Candidates Speak to St. Clair County Farmers Federation

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, March 12 the St. Clair County Farmer’s Federation held their monthly dinner meeting in Ashville.  Candidates and members alike dined on chicken, roast beef, pizza, chicken livers, pie, deviled eggs and other dishes then heard appeals from candidates for public office.

Both Republican candidates for Senate District 11 were in attendance.

Senator Jerry Fielding (R) from Sylacauga said, “I am running for reelection for State Senate.  I am the incumbent.  I am glad to be here and meet the real people.”

Sen. Fielding said, “I do appreciate the opportunity to be here.”  “I have been working for the farmers and the Farmer’s Federation for the last three years.”

Fielding concluded, I know that you are wise and good folks and I am asking for your vote.

Senator Fielding was a longtime Talladega County Judge.  He was elected to the Senate in 2010 as a Democrat.  After redistricting made District 11 more Republican he switched to the Alabama Republican Party over concerns that the Alabama Democratic Party had become too liberal.

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His opponent in the June 3 Republican Party spoke next.  State Representative Jim McClendon (R) from Springville said that he, “Is currently the Representative from St. Clair County and is the only State Representative to live in St. Clair County.”

Rep. McClendon said, “I have not taken money from the teachers union.”

State Representative McClendon stressed that he had a 100% voting record with ALFA.  McClendon said, “You know where I stand on current use and property taxes.”

McClendon said that he was the fifth generation of his family to live on his farm just outside of Springville and that he hoped to be the first State Senator to live in St. Clair Count in over half a century.

Rep. McClendon is a retired optometrist who practiced for decades in Leeds and Moody.

James “Jim” McClendon currently represents House District 50 in the Alabama Legislature.  He is vacating that seat to run for the state senate.  Retired St. Clair County Presiding Judge James Hill Sr. (R) from Odenville is likely to replace Rep. McClendon in the Alabama House of Representatives.  Judge Hill does not have a primary opponent and no Democrat qualified at the deadline for the office.  It is still possible for a third party or independent candidate to seek ballot access on the November ballot, though winning would be a challenge in the overwhelmingly Republican District 50.

Both Senate District 11 and House District 50 were redistricted heavily based on the 2010 Census which showed substantial population growth in the previous decade.

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Senate District 11 previously consisted of all of Talladega County and parts of Calhoun, Coosa, and Elmore Counties.  It now includes most of St. Clair County as well as parts of Talladega and Shelby Counties.  House District 50 used to be comprised of the towns of Springville, Margaret, Moody, Odenville, Argo, Cook Springs, Pell City, Cropwell, Vandiver, Sterrett, Wilsonville, and much of rural Shelby County.  The redistricted 50 now includes: Springville, Margaret, Moody, Odenville, Argo, Cook Springs, Pell City, Cropwell, and Leeds and is contained entirely in St. Clair County.

The Republican Primary will be held of June 3rd.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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