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Santorum Rallies with Jefferson County GOP Candidates

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, October 9, former Senator Rick Santorum, (R-Pennsylvania), held a joint press conference with Congressional Candidate Gary Palmer (R) and Jefferson County Republican candidates seeking office in the November General Election.

Republican Sixth District Congressional Candidate Gary Palmer introduced Sen. Santorum.

Palmer said, “I have known Rick for a long time since he began his career in Congress.” “Rick is a native of Pennsylvania. Rick has been in our state several times and people love him here.”

Former Senator Santorum said, “We have a great slate of candidates here in Jefferson County and I would like to urge people to get out and support them.”

Santorum urged voters to support Gary Palmer. Santorum called Palmer a great leader and said that he admired and respected Palmer’s work at the Alabama Policy Institute. Santorum said that he endorsed Palmer in the GOP Primary. “I did not get involved in a lot of congressional races but this is a man that America needs.”

Santorum said that Palmer has conservative principles and is an “Articulate voice for those principles.”

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Santorum said that he had made several appearances in Alabama over the previous two days including an Alabama Republican Party event in Montgomery, a luncheon in Birmingham, and an event with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange in Troy that morning. Sen. Santorum said that even though it was 8:00 am over 100 people in Troy came out that day for the breakfast event.

Sen. Santorum said that it is great that we have an urban are like this (Jefferson County) where Republicans are still competitive in elections for leadership. Santorum said that he had just visited Detroit. “If you want to see what liberal Democratic control of government is like go up to Detroit and spend a day or two. That is what you get when you elect people who do not understand the proper role of government.”

Santorum said that he hoped that everyone gets out and votes in the November election and casts a vote for these folks here behind me (the Jefferson County GOP candidates).

The Alabama Political Reporter asked the group, “In the last 3 elections, Democrats crushed Republicans in Jefferson County races. Is there a danger in terms of economic development of Jefferson County becoming an isolated Democratic blue island in an increasingly Red state which is dominated by Republicans both in the congressional delegation and in the State house?

Gary Palmer said we have a very good Congressional delegation and we will work with anybody to do what is best for the state regardless of their political party.

Palmer said, “I think Jefferson County has turned the corner. The County Commission is doing an excellent job.”

Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington (R) said, “Jefferson County is back. The one thing that Democrats and Republicans agree about is that Jefferson County needs more jobs.” Carrington said that according to the last census Jefferson County had grown by 3 percent; but it’s population of 25 to 45 year olds had decreased by 19 percent. That is the age where people are getting into their careers and starting families. Carrington said that you can’t be a great county if you can’t attract young working families. Jobs are Jefferson County’s number one focus.

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Carrington said to expect a major announcement about new jobs in the next several weeks. Jefferson County has turned the corner. The City of Birmingham has turned the corner. We are working across party lines to do what is best for the people of Jefferson County.

Steven B. Ammons, the GOP candidate for Jefferson County Tax Collector, said that Jefferson County is on the move again and that Jefferson County has to have the revenue to continue that process. Ammons said that there are many properties being assessed improperly in Jefferson County and that needs to change. Some people are being assessed too high and some people are being assessed too low because they are friends with someone. “We have great opportunities in Jefferson County.” Ammons said that stronger leadership will make sure that we assess the properties properly.

Joel Blankenship, the GOP Candidate for Jefferson County Tax Assessor, said that he supports good government and responsible leadership. The government is for the people and we need people in office who can work for the people.

Sen. Santorum received the largest number of votes in Alabama during the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary.

Former Sen. Santorum said that while he is very much pro-business the Republican Party needs to be focusing it’s message on the American worker. Only about 10 percent of the electorate owns a business and half of those have five employees or less and think of themselves as workers. The Republican Party needs to be tailoring its message to the American worker. U.S. Senator Sessions (R from Alabama) gets that and Gary Palmer gets that. Much of the Republican Party in Washington does not, Santorum said.

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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