By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, September 25, the St. Clair County Republican Party leadership met at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Ashville.
State Representative Jim McClendon (R) from Springville addressed the group about the importance of getting out the vote for the November 4th Election. Rep. Jim McClendon is the Republican nominee for Alabama Senate District 11, which represents much of St. Clair County as well as portions of Talladega and Shelby County.
Rep. McClendon said that he has a Democratic opponent in November so, “Getting out the vote in St. Clair County is a big deal…We have conservative folks here” (in St. Clair County) but it is important that they turnout.
Rep. McClendon that the budget crisis is real and it is really looming over the State going forward. “There is no more one time money” (the budget was propped up these last three years by raiding the Alabama Trust Fund,) McClendon said that the mentality of the leadership is that, “We are not looking for more money.” McClendon said that they plan to continue to trim budgets and are looking for ways to right-size Alabama’s budget.
The St. Clair County Republican Party Chairman is prominent Pell City attorney, Lance Bell. Bell said that McClendon’s opponent is for legalizing drugs and supports an agenda that won’t go over well with the people of St. Clair County.
Rep. McClendon faces marijuana advocate, Ron Crumpton (D) in the fall General Election.
Alabama State Senator Phil Williams (R) from Rainbow City was also at the meeting.
Chairman Lance Bell said, “We need him (Sen. Williams) back in Montgomery. We have got to do whatever we can to make sure that his opponent (former Sen. Larry Means) does not go back to Montgomery.”
Sen. Williams introduced his campaign manager, Roger Rogers, and his wife of 28 years, Charlene.
William said that he lives in Rainbow City and St. Clair County is right in his backyard.
Williams said that after redistricting Steele, Chandler Mountain, part of Ashville, and the top half of Ragland are in his Senate District 10, which also includes Etowah, Cherokee, and part of Dekalb County.
Sen. Williams said, “I am a very conservative Republican. I was raised that way be my dad.”
Williams is a Colonel in the Alabama National Guard. He served in Afghanistan in 2002 and was in Iraq in 2004.
Sen. Williams passed around a photo of elected leaders he worked with in Iraq. One of them was assassinated and another survived an assassination attempt but was never the same.
Sen. Williams said that he ran for office in 2010, because, “I did not like what I was seeing in state politics…If they can run for office with a threat of death (in Iraq) there is no reason why I can’t run.” Williams said that he was heavily involved in the ministry, before deciding to go back to law school. Chairman Lance Bell was one of his classmates.
Sen. Williams said that his race is, “The most competitive race in the state Senate.” Williams said that his opponent, Larry Means, is a lifelong Democrat and as a Senator he, “Did a lot of things I thought were wrong.”
Williams said that he is polling ahead of Means and he is outraising fundraising him as well, but “I need y’all in St. Clair County to turn out.”
Sen. Williams said that Senate District 10 includes the southern half of Collinsville in a line to Crossville in Dekalb County.
Chairman Bell said that Williams needs some help in St. Clair County and asked for somebody to come forward and hold an event for Williams in Ragland.
Williams said that he has had good support from St. Clair County citizens to this point and thanked the Bogies in Ashville for holding a couple of fundraisers for him already and said that he recently spoke to the Sons of the Confederate Veterans at the Inzer Museum in Ashville.
Williams said that he has been endorsed by the St. Clair County Farmer’s Federation and has received a new batch of signs in today and needs people to take signs.
Rep. McClendon said, “The last thing we need is Larry Means.”
Bell said, “Larry Means and that group is how we got in that (fiscal) mess.”
Chairman Lance Bell said that St. Clair County Superintendent Jenny Seals (R) has a Democrat opponent and asked everybody there to help Seals.
Supt. Seals said, “I am trying to be good and not say anything negative (about her opponent).”
Rep. Mack Butler (R) from Rainbow City said, “Thank you for standing with me (in the Republican Primary in June where he defeated a well funded opponent).”
Chairman Bell asked the group for volunteers to work a GOP booth at the Moody Octoberfest on October 4 and said that the Democrats would be staging their own booth there.