By Brandon Moseley
Friday, April 7, 2017 Republican gathered for the annual Winston County Ronald Reagan Dinner in Double Springs. U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R from Haleyville) was there and he presented Winston County Republican Party Chairman Jerry Mobley with a letter signed by President Donald J. Trump (R) and Vice President Mike Pence (R) for their hard work in the election.
Congressman Aderholt said that Winston County voted over 90 percent for Donald Trump and that the Third Congressional District as a whole was the highest margin of victory for Trump of any District of any of the 435 congressional districts.
The Winston County Reagan Dinner is the traditional start of the Republican Primary campaign and this year did not disappoint.
Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R) was on hand to ask GOP voters for their support. Cavanaugh said that the train of Alabama government has gone off the tracks but that together we can put it back on track.
Alice Martin announced that she was running for Alabama Attorney General. Martin is a former U.S. Attorney, Judge, and Deputy Attorney General. Martin emphasized her track record in fighting corruption and bringing corruption prosecutions.
Alabama Auditor Jim Zeigler said that that this past week was a good week for Alabama Government because it showed that the state could fight corruption. Zeigler told the ‘Alabama Political Reporter’ that he is exploring a run for Governor in 2018.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle announced that he was exploring running for Governor as well.
State Representative Will Ainsworth (R from Guntersville) announced that he exploring a run for Lieutenant Governor.
State Senator Rusty Glover (R from Semmes) announced that he is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner John McMillan (R) told the group that flu season is almost over and with it the risk of avian influenza striking Alabama’s massive poultry industry, which has a $16.5 billion economic impact to the state. McMillan is rumored to be considering a run for Governor in 2018.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) said that since he has been Secretary of State they have successfully prosecuted four people for voting fraud and had indicted two more people and there are more prosecutions on the way. Merrill said that hundreds of thousands of more people have registered to vote. “I want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.” Merrill also said that the office’s business filing time has dramatically decreased.
Judge Chris McCool announced that he was running for the Court of Criminal Appeals. McCool said that he has the experience needed for the positon and won’t need any on the job training.
Chess Bedsole was the featured speaker at the event. Bedsole said that he became Donald Trump’s Alabama qualifying attorney because then U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions recommended him to Trump. Later Trump overruled his staff and asked Bedsole to be his Alabama campaign manager. Bedsole said that when he first got the call from a 20 something staffer to come to New York to interview for the Alabama campaign management post he thought it was a gag. Bedsole eventually took the job. Trump won Alabama and then Bedsole took to running the Trump campaign in Florida for the General Election. Trump won Florida and the Presidency.
Bedsole said that he was offered a senior position in the Whitehouse; but it is best for his family if he stays here in Alabama.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said that the party now has 59 percent of the elected offices in the state of Alabama and their goal for 2018 is to go up to 60 percent.