By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, State Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, announced that he is running as an Independent candidate for state Senate District 10.
“My promise to the voters is that I will work with anyone – and stand up to anyone – to do what’s right for our area,” Ford said. “That’s who I am, and that’s why I’m running as an Independent.”
“I’m running for the State Senate because I feel like we need a senator who will work to bring people together and work with both parties to get things done,” Ford said. “Too often political games get in the way and we need to focus on solving real problems like improving our schools, creating good paying jobs, and rebuilding our roads and bridges.”
Ford noted that he had worked closely with the governor to secure funding for the I-759 extension and a $450,000 grant for the Attalla Water and Sewage Department, projects that he claims will create jobs and grow local businesses, as well as improve local services.
He also said that he worked with leaders in the Legislature to secure additional funding for local schools and other local projects.
But he’s also stood up to those in both parties, by calling for the leadership of the Alabama Democratic Party to resign, and as one of the original four lawmakers who called for former Gov. Robert Bentley to be impeached for misusing taxpayer dollars and state resources.
“There are too many people in Montgomery who are more worried about right wing and left wing politics than they are about plain old right and wrong,” Ford said. “We need a new way of thinking in Montgomery. We need people who are problem solvers.”
Ford said that he believes serving in the Legislature shouldn’t be any different than serving in the military.
“When we’re deployed overseas or on a training exercise, nobody cares if the soldier next to them is a Democrat or a Republican,” Ford said. “We’re just focused on getting the job done. And that’s how it ought to be in the state Legislature.”
The 10th district includes all of Etowah and Cherokee counties, and a portion of DeKalb County.
Sen. Harri Anne Smith, who was barred from running as a Republican again, is presently the only independent in the Alabama legislature,
Popular incumbent Senator Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City, is leaving the Legislature after two terms so the district will be an open seat.
State Rep. Mack Butler, R-Rainbow City, qualified to run as a Republican for the seat. Butler and Andrew Jones are running in the Republican primary. There is no Democrat qualified in District 10.
Ford used to be the Democratic Minority Leader, but he angered the Alabama Democratic Party leadership when he called for Party Chair Nancy Worley and Alabama Democratic Conference head Joe Reed to resign. Ford had been considering a statewide bid, but questioned the competence of the current Alabama Democratic party leadership.
Ford has been the loudest proponent of a state lottery for years and said that the lottery will be an important campaign issue. Judge Sue Bell Cobb who is running for governor also has a lottery plan she is advocating.
To qualify for the ballot, registered voters in the 10th district have to sign petitions for Ford to granted access. Signing the ballot access form does not mean that you actually have to vote for Ford or another independent or third party candidate. Alabama is on the hardest states for independents to get access.
The General Election is set for November.