By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, October 16, the Gary Palmer (R) for Congress campaign announced that the board of directors of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) has endorsed Gary Palmer in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Sixth Congressional District.
BCA Chairman Fred McCallum said in a written statement, “The Business Council of Alabama is proud to endorse Gary Palmer in his bid to serve the people of Alabama’s Sixth District. The Business Council of Alabama believes Gary Palmer has the experience, work ethic, integrity, vision and proven leadership needed in the halls of Congress and enthusiastically supports his candidacy.”
McCallum is the President of AT&T Alabama.
Palmer was pleased to learn of the endorsement from the influential BCA.
Palmer said, “I am very grateful and honored to receive the endorsement of the Business Council of Alabama. I look forward to working what the BCA and their members in Alabama’s 6th congressional district.”
The Business Council of Alabama is Alabama’s largest and most powerful association of businesses. The BCA is a non-partisan statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly one million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.
Most political observers expected the BCA to support Gary Palmer, since the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already endorsed Palmer, the cofounder and longtime President of the Alabama Policy Institute (API).
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.
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.