By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
The Alabama Forestry Association announced their endorsement of Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen in the Alabama House of Representative District 89 race.
The Alabama Forestry Association represents forestry workers in state and local politics.
Chris Isaacson, the executive vice president of the Alabama Forestry Association, said the organization was “proud” to endorse Allen.
“Wes has served for eight years as probate judge for Pike County, an office that has provided him a unique understanding of the needs of citizens in the rural areas of Alabama,” Isaacson said. “In addition to his professional experience, Wes’s family has been involved in forestry for more than 35 years, providing him an even greater awareness of the business that drives Alabama’s rural economy.”
Isaacson said Allen was an “ideal candidate who will be able to immediately assume a leadership role” in the House.
Allen, in a statement, said he was “proud” to have their support.
“It is an honor to be supported by the hardworking men and women of the forestry industry,” Allen said. “They represent the fabric of what makes our state and our country what it is today. I understand how important forestry and the agriculture industry are as a whole to the people of Alabama but they are especially important to the people of Dale and Pike Counties where our economy heavily relies on the success of this industry.”
The forestry industry makes up 23.3 percent of Pike County’s, where House District 89 is located, work force. It also accounted for 23.6 percent of the county’s total indirect business tax according to a 2013 study from the Alabama Agribusiness Council.
The district is currently held by state Rep. Alan Boothe, R-Troy, who announced earlier this year he will not seek re-election. Boothe will continue to serve in the House in a non-elected role as a party leader.
He previously chaired the House Rules Committee, which dictates the agenda of the lower chamber. He stepped down from the position earlier this year.
Boothe’s departure leaves the seat vacant for the first time since 1998.
The only other Republican contender for the seat is Troy City Council President Marcus Paramore, who also works as the governmental affairs director for Troy University.
The party primaries are set for June 2018 with the general election for November 2018.