By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Recently, Alabama Secretary of State Candidates joined Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) at the Jefferson County Republican Party Straw Poll in Gardendale.
Former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney said that he is that he is the only candidate in the race who has run over fifty elections. McKinney said that being the Probate Judge in Montgomery County gives him the experience to hit the ground running as Secretary of State. McKinney said that he would bring in new technology to the Secretary of State’s office that would allow the office to prepare business filings faster.
Judge McKinney said that it is an honor and a privilege to be with Jefferson County Republicans and he is asking for their support. As Sec. of State McKinney said that he would work on bringing in new jobs to the state of Alabama. McKinney said that as Probate Judge he regularly turned in unused budget funds to the county treasury. “That is how I will run the Sec of State’s office,” McKinney said.
State Representative John Merrill (R) from Tuscaloosa County is also a Republican candidate for Secretary of State. Rep. Merrill said, “We are going to have fair and honest election that you can respect,” if he is Sec. of State. Merrill pledged to work law enforcement and the Alabama Attorney General’s office to make sure that persons found committing election fraud are indicted and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Rep. Merrill said that in the legislature he worked on legislation to require that voters present a valid Photo ID when they vote. This legislation was passed by the Alabama state legislature in 2011. Merrill promised that if he is elected he would speed up business filings in the Sec. of State’s office.
Rep. Merrill said that he has been endorsed by the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Alabama Retail Association, the State Trooper’s Association, the Business Council of Alabama and has driven 149,000 miles in his car and replaced four sets of tires campaigning for the office.
Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue said that he has been the chief election official for Crenshaw County and has the experience to be the best Secretary of State. Perdue said that he has run a small business for 30 years.
Judge Perdue said, “I believe in fair and honest elections.” As Sec. of State I want to be able to look military veterans in the eye and be able to say that we did everything possible for their vote to count while deployed overseas.
Perdue said that the Sec. of State Office needs to be run as a business. “I thing government needs to get out of the way of business and let it (business) flourish.” Perdue said that Alabama is a good, strong conservative state and he wants to be the next Secretary of State.
Judge Reese McKinney won the Jefferson County Republican Straw Poll. Jefferson County is the largest county in the State of Alabama.
Current Secretary of State Jim Bennett (R) is not running for another term. Bennett replaced Sec. Beth Chapman (R) who left to take a job with ALFA.
The Republican Primary is June 3.