By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Saturday, April 26 former Montgomery Probate Judge Reese McKinney and Alabama State Representative John Merrill, both Republican candidates for Alabama Secretary of State, addressed Republicans gathered at the Pumpkin Patch Rally in Clanton.
Judge McKinney said it was a pleasure to be here today and that he was the only candidate in the race who has never been a Democrat.
As the Montgomery County Probate Judge McKinney said that he returned unused funds to the county treasury almost every year that he was Montgomery County Probate Judge and that if elected as Secretary of State that he, “Will run this office like I ran the Probate office in Montgomery County.”
Judge McKinney said that he left an emergency fund of $1.7 million for the next Probate Judge. “I will not need on the job training.” “This office is critical to everyone in the room.” The Secretary of State is the chief election official in the state.
McKinney said that if elected he would work on speeding up the time that it takes for business filings to be processed at the Secretary of State office.
McKinney said, “I have two and a half more supporters than the other two candidates.” They have some guy named Mr. PAC.
State Representative John Merrill is also seeking the Republican nomination for Alabama Secretary of State.
Rep. Merrill said that it is a privilege to be here today. Representing Tuscaloosa County in the Alabama State Legislature has been the greatest honor of my life.
Merrill said that if he is elected Secretary of State we are going to have fair and credible elections. Perpetrators of election fraud will be identified. Merrill said that he will work with sheriffs and prosecutors to see that those people will be indicted and prosecuted.
Rep. Merrill said that the Republican controlled state legislature passed requirements to present a valid state issued photo ID to protect Alabama elections. Merrill said that he cosponsored the bill. The legislature also passed a bill to move candidate qualifying earlier to help deployed members of the military participate in Alabama elections. The legislature also passed legislation to allow those service members to vote electronically. That was never exercised. “We have got to make sure that those defending us are heard.”
Rep. Merrill said that when a corporation files paperwork in North Carolina it is processed in just seven days. In Delaware it takes three days. That paperwork is processed the same day in Florida. The Alabama Secretary of State office says that it takes four months in Alabama. A good lawyer will tell you it really takes six to nine months……unless you pay a expedited fee.
Merrill said that when an Alabama citizen applies with the Secretary of State’s office for adoptions you need to know those people care about you.
Rep. Merrill said that he is the only candidate in this race who has been to all 67 Alabama Counties and has driven over 140,000 miles to meet the people of the state. Merrill said that he has been endorsed by the Business Council of Alabama, the Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Citizens for Life, the Alabama State Troopers Association, and the Alabama Retail Association.
Merrill said that some people can talk about being conservative, but I live it.
Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue is also seeking the Republicans nomination of Secretary of State, but was not at the Clanton event.