By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, April 24 President Barack H. Obama (D) endorsed Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D) in her effort to win a third term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.
President Obama said “I have known Terri since law school, and she has always been a strong voice and tireless advocate for the people of Alabama. In Congress, Terri has stood by me though the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and we’ve stood up to Republicans who’ve tried to roll back our progress time and time again. Terri has been working tirelessly to promote job creation and investment in skills training and workforce development. I am proud to once again support her re-election, so we can continue the fight for our shared values.”
Congresswoman Sewell is the first Black woman to serve in Congress representing the State of Alabama. Rep. Sewell said that she was honored to receive the President’s endorsement and support and that she looks forward to continuing to advance Obama’s agenda during a third term. Sewell said that she is committed to helping the President advance his economic agenda which includes an increase to the minimum wage, fair pay for women who do the same job as men, and comprehensive immigration reform.
Rep. Sewell said, “I am honored to receive the President Obama’s endorsement in my bid to continue representing Alabama’s 7th District, and I am proud to be one of his most steadfast allies in Congress. I look forward to continuing to work with President Obama as we fight for an economic agenda that is committed to making sure that everyone who works hard and plays by the rules is given a fair shot.
Both President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama joined Sewell in the district in the wake of the April 2011 storm disaster which devastated much of the state. Rep. Sewell said that their partnership has been critical in directing over $500 million in federal disaster relief funding to the state since that day. Rep. Sewell’s office reports that over a billion dollars in federal grant funding has come into the 7th District during Sewell’s tenure.
Congresswoman Sewell serves as a Chief Deputy Whip in charge of helping to make sure that Democrats work together to support the President’s legislative agenda.
Sewell joined President Obama in the oval office for the signing of her first sponsored bill which honored the Four Little Girls killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church with a Congressional Gold Medal. Sewell said that one of her proudest moments in Congress was watching the President interact with Mrs. Maxine McNair, mother of Denise McNair that day.
Rep. Sewell said, “He knelt beside her wheelchair and with total humility and conviction told her that he may have never had the opportunity to serve in that office if not for the sacrifice of her and her family. That was a really special moment for me as the representative of the district where so many battles for civil rights were fought. I feel a tremendous responsibility to protect and honor that legacy.”
Rep. Sewell also recalled her first face-to-face conversation with the President following her election to Congress. Rep. Sewell said, “As President of the Democratic freshman class, I was honored to serve as one of the President’s escorts into the State of the Union address. When we had a chance to speak, I told him how much I looked forward to working with him and asked him what I could do to help. He told me the best way I could help him was to represent my constituents to the best of my abilities. That is something I have always strived to do, and I look forward to continuing to do that in my third term.”
Sewell is currently serving her second term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rep. Sewell is the first African American woman to represent Alabama in Congress. She is seeking a third term as Representative of District 7, which covers 14 counties including parts of Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, and most of Alabama’s Black Belt counties.
Rep. Sewell has no Republican opponent in the November election. She does however face a challenger in former Birmingham City Attorney Tamara Harris Johnson, in the June 3rd Democratic Party Primary. While President Obama is not very popular in Alabama as a whole, he is still popular among Seventh District Democratic Primary voters.
The powerful Business Council of Alabama (BCA), the New South Coalition, the Alabama Retail Association, and FarmPAC, the political arm of the Alabama Farmer’s Federation, have all endorsed Congresswoman Sewell.