By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The last six years have been hard on American business. Obamacare is raising health insurance costs substantially, proposed new CO2 rules will raise energy costs, taxes have increased, federal regulations are growing exponentially, and the successful in this society have endured a constant barrage of rhetoric blaming them for income inequality and accusing them for failing to pay their “fair share” even though the top ten percent of income earners are paying 68 percent of all federal income taxes collected.
In this difficult environment the conservative National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) have endorsed Gary Palmer (R) in Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District. The NFIB, in a statement, said that Palmer’s election is critical for small businesses in the Sixth District of Alabama. The Palmer campaign announced the endorsement in a Thursday, October 2 statement.
The group’s political arm, Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust is supporting Palmer for Congress in the conservative Sixth Congressional District.
The Political Vice President of the NFIB Safe Trust, Lisa Goeas said in a statement, “Gary Palmer’s election is not only critical to the small-business owners in District 6, but also protecting free enterprise across America. On behalf of all NFIB members, we look forward to standing with Gary Palmer as he stands with small businesses.”
Palmer expressed his gratitude for the endorsement from the Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust. Palmer said, “Small businesses are critical to our economy in America, and I want to do everything I can to lead the way for small businesses in the Sixth District. I am beyond thankful for the support and endorsement of the Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, especially because of their commitment to job formation through small businesses.”
In their statement the SAFE Trust said that they are eager to take part in this race and are hopeful for a Palmer victory.
The SAFE Trust and the NFIB said in a statement that they make endorsements exclusively on candidate’s positions and record on small business issues, regardless of party affiliation. The NFIB staff conducts thorough research on candidates, campaigns and the political environment to determine where NFIB can make the most difference for small businesses.
Gary Palmer spent the last 24 years as President of the Alabama Policy Institute (API) which he co-founded. API is a research and education organization that is dedicated to identifying, developing and promoting public policies which emphasize limited government, free markets, the rule of law and strong families. The Palmer campaign said that API is ranked as the most influential conservative organization in Alabama and is very involved in working with the State Legislature and the Governor’s Office to provide detailed research and analysis on such issues as charter schools, state employee pension and benefit reform, rewriting the state constitution as well as developing solutions and ideas for improving state government.
Gary Palmer was appointed by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to Alabama Commission on Improving State Government. He was appointed by former Governor Bob Riley to the Governor’s Task Force to Strengthen Alabama Families and served as an adviser to the Alabama Aerospace, Science and Industry Task Force. Palmer was appointed by Alabama Governor Fob James to the Governor’s Welfare Reform Commission. Palmer is a founding director and past president of the State Policy Network.
Gary Palmer grew up in the North Alabama town of Hackleburgh, the son of a small logger. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Management and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Mobile.
Palmer’s opponent is Dr. Mark Lester (D). He was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He and his family have lived in Homewood for the past 23 years while teaching history at Birmingham Southern College. Lester attended Rhodes College, received a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. He has a Ph.D. in Modern British Economic History from the University of Oxford. After finishing law school, Mark Lester was appointed Assistant United States Attorney where he prosecuted drug dealers and white collar criminals. He later formed a small law firm, specializing in commercial litigation.
Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District is currently represented by Republican Representative Spencer Bachus from Vestavia who is retiring after 11 terms in the Congress. Congressman Bachus served the District as an Alabama State Senator before going to Congress after defeating Congressman Ben Erdreich (D) in 1992.
The General Election will be on Tuesday, November 4.