By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, September 3, Darius Foster, candidate for the Alabama House of Representatives in state House District 56, announced that he was sponsoring a job fair on October 7 at the Bessemer Civic Center.
Darius Foster said in a written statement, “No candidate in the history of this district has ever gone to such great lengths to put their constituents back to work but I believe in Bessemer and I believe in the people of Bessemer. There are great companies that are hiring in this area and there are hardworking, qualified people in Bessemer who are looking for employment opportunities. I am hosting this job fair so that I can connect those companies with great employees from right here in Bessemer.”
Foster cited a study by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) in which the 5-year average unemployment rate in the 35020 zip code in Bessemer is 17%. Foster in his statement said that it is estimated that an additional 30% of citizens in the area are underemployed which means they are working but make so little that they still qualify for social services.
Foster said, “We can’t expect the city to grow and the economy to get better if we don’t turn things around starting now. The people of this area can’t afford to wait any more. The time for the people of this district to start demanding better is now and I will do everything possible to give them everything they deserve.”
Foster said that a dozen companies have already committed to participating in the 2014 Bessemer Community Job Fair. Citizens of Bessemer who are interested in participating can register online at…
Pre-registrations will close on September 21, 2014. On-site registration will be available on the day of the event for Bessemer area job seekers.
Foster said, “I am fully committed to putting Bessemer back to work even before Election Day and I will remain as committed after Election Day.”
Darius Foster is the Republican nominee for the District 56 seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. Darius Foster is a native Alabamian who was raised on the west side of Birmingham. He has a degree from Miles College, is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and is a former member of the leadership team with the Birmingham Urban League–Young Professionals.
Forster, who is Black, said that people often have trouble hiding their shock when they find out Foster is also a Republican. Foster said, “I am very excited about the opportunity to earn the vote of the citizens of District 56. I am even more excited about offering voters something different. A new face with new ideas. I believe that the choice will be clear for voters in November.”
Foster says on his website, “I am running to represent you for a few reasons: 1) I am prepared and will bring fresh ideas to the district. 2) The district has changed; more races and all classes are now represented. I will build bridges not barriers. 3) It’s simply time for a new direction. Business as usual is no longer acceptable.”
Foster ran unopposed in the June Republican primary for District 56’s seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. Foster said that after redistricting, HD56 is arguably one of the most racially, economically, and generationally diverse districts in the State.
Foster was appointed by former Alabama Governor Riley (R) to the State’s Amistad Commission, focused on diversity in Alabama text books. Governor Robert Bentley (R) appointed Foster to the Affordable Homeowners Insurance Commission and the Higher Education Commission, making Foster the youngest higher education commissioner in state history. Foster is a former member of the Alabama Republican Party’s steering committee and a former officer of the Young Republican Federation of Alabama. Foster lives in Oxmoor Valley with his wife, Setara, and their two dogs: Duchess and Bronko.
The majority minority district is currently represented by Representative Lawrence McAdory (D), but he was narrowly unseated in the low turnout Alabama Democratic Primary by challenger Louise Alexander from Bessemer.
Alabama House District 56 spans Bessemer proper and part of Hoover, including Ross Bridge, Lake Cyrus, Oxmoor Valley, Shannon, and Morgan Road.
The Alabama Republican Party leads the entire nation in minority candidate recruitment, but at this point it is uncertain if Black voters will embrace Black Republican candidates like Foster.
In recent years, ALGOP has had tremendous success at breaking into counties that were long dominated by Democratic Party machines. The party controls both Houses of the state legislature, six of Alabama’s Seven Congressional Districts, and every statewide elected office despite routinely losing the Alabama Black vote by 85 to 90+ percent. If the Alabama Republican Party can make inroads among a new generation of Black voters, the ALGOP will cement its place as the dominant political party in the State of Alabama.