By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, March 10, candidates for office appeared in Ashville at the St. Clair County Farmer’s Federation monthly dinner meeting to campaign and ask for support from the influential group.
Both of the Republican candidates in the race for Alabama House District 30 appealed for votes from the members present.
Rep. Mack Butler (R) from Rainbow City said, I am Mack Butler. I have been married to my wife for 30 years, together we have four children. I served two terms as President of the Etowah County Board of Education and as Etowah Republican Party Chairman.
Butler said I have had a blast serving as your Representative in Montgomery. Butler said that he wanted to celebrate the self-reliance that made the Alabama farmer and this country great. Butler said that the Airbus deal opened up 900 new welder jobs and that career tech training improvements and the dual enrollment bill were important accomplishments. Butler said of the Dual Enrollment scholarship program, “We figured out how to do it without the taxpayers funding it.”
Butler described himself as a staunch conservative Christian. Butler said that we needed to figure out how to put families back together.
Butler said that the House did pass the f4 bill (to allow farmer trucks not to have to get long haul commercial license tags) in the House, but it is waiting to be acted on in the Alabama Senate.
Rep. Butler said, “Join Etowah County and endorse me. Forestry just announced their endorsement of me.”
His opponent, the Mayor of Ashville Robert McKay (R) was also there.
Mayor McKay said that he has lived here (Ashville) for 63 years. He spent 12 years on the Ashville City council and the last 14 years as Mayor. McKay said he, “Was not looking to separate the Republicans and the Democrats.” “I am a conservative, but I may not be a rightwing conservative.” McKay said that the issues that the legislature has been working on disturbs him. McKay said that education is the key to growing the Alabama economy and the Legislature has not spend enough time to fund education and help the teachers and the retirees.
McKay said that he worked a year and a half at the St. Clair County Correctional Facility and he understands the issues facing the prison system. He criticized the legislature for not addressing the situation at Tutwiler Correctional Facility for Women and the legislature’s failure to address properly funding the prison system. “Let the federal government take over the prison system and see how much that costs.”
McKay said, “What you see is what you get. I am a down to earth person. I hope and pray you will send me to Montgomery.
House District 30 is comprised of parts of St. Clair and Etowah Counties, including the towns of Ashville, Steele, Coal City, Shoal Creek, Ragland, Riverside, Rainbow City, and Southside.
The staunch Republican district was held by Rep. Blaine Galliher (R) until he was appointed Legislative Director by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R). Etowah County School Board Member Mack Butler then won the special election to replace Galliher.
The Republican Primary will be June 3.