By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, May 29 Alabama State Representative Jim McClendon (R) from Springville spoke in Pell City at the candidate’s forum sponsored by the Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce and the St. Clair County Board of Realtors. State Representative McClendon currently represents Alabama House District 50 in St. Clair and Shelby Counties. Rep. McClendon is now running in the Republican Primary for Alabama Senate District 11.
Rep. McClendon said, “St. Clair County has not been represented by a State Senator who lived in St. Clair County for over 50 years. This is a great opportunity for the county.” Over half of the people in the new District 11 live in St. Clair County.
McClendon told an estimated crowd of over 120 Republican voters that where he has sponsored local legislation 100% of the time it has moved forward been signed into law. “I have helped many cities, our DA, our Coroner, and our County Commission with local legislation.”
In response to a question about reforming the state Constitution, Rep. McClendon said, “We do have an antiquated constitution that is the biggest in the world.” McClendon warned however that a constitutional convention would open up the opportunity for taxes to go up. Our low taxes are a notable trait that could go away in a state constitutional convention. McClendon said that he favors the article by article rewrite which he acknowledge has, “Hit a judicial bump but this is not over.”
McClendon questioned the wisdom of term limits. “Probably one of the strongest most important people we have is Jeff Sessions in Washington D.C. He believes what I believe and he stands for conservative beliefs term after term.” Voters have term limits. Two thirds of the state legislators I served with in the House have been sent home by the people of Alabama. McClendon said that while he would not vote for Rep. Alvin Holmes, the people in Alvin Holmes district like him and keep electing him. “That is their choice.” McClendon said, “I am term limiting myself in the House.”
Rep. McClendon was asked about the long delayed bridge replacement project on Highway 78, He said that he called and talked to Alabama Department of Transportation officials, “And I heard four excuses.” Rep. McClendon vowed to, “Stay on their case,” until the state finishes the work in the Eden area of Pell City.
The bridge on Highway 78 in Eden is being replaced because of age and because the old bridge regularly went under water in heavy rains creating a danger for motorists. The bridge has been finished for weeks, but the work to raise the road bed up to the level of the new bridge to open the road back up has gotten stalled.
Rep. McClendon said that redistricting will help St. Clair County in the legislature. More than likely St. Clair County will have a senator that resides in St Clair County for the first time in over fifty years. The county for the first time will have a house district that is entirely inside St Clair County (District 50 which will be represented by retired Judge Jim Hill (R) from Odenville). The county will still have six people in the legislature representing its interests.
McClendon said, “I am Jim McClendon. I grew up in Springville. I graduated from Springville High School. I graduated from Birmingham Southern College,” served in Vietnam, worked as an assistant professor at the UAB Medical Center, have been in private practice in Leeds and Moody. I have served three terms in the Alabama House of Representatives where I moved up to the leadership . I was Chairman of the Ethics Committee, I was am Chairman of the Redistricting Committee, I am Chair of the House Health Committee. “I know the players in Montgomery. I know how to get things done in Montgomery. I want to be your senator from St Clair County.”
McClendon is running against Senator Jerry Fielding. Sen. Fielding has run for office five times before as a Democrat. This will be the first time however that he has run in a Republican Primary.
District 11 includes parts of St. Clair, Talladega, and Shelby Counties.
The Primary will be Tuesday, June 3.