By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, February 27, 2018, GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Dawson spoke to the River Region Republican Club at the Farmers Market Café about his candidacy for governor of Alabama.
Dawson said, “It all started with a broken heart. By that I mean a grieving spirit.” Dawson said that he was grief stricken about the direction of the state and began looking for a candidate to run for governor in 2018, they turned it around and said you are the one to run.
Dawson said that two of the last three governors have been convicted or pleaded guilty to crimes while in office and three of the last six.
Dawson admitted that he has not been in politics before.
“The last time we elected a governor with no prior political experience was Fob James in 1978, and the problems that James faced when he entered office were: roads, prison overcrowding, and education. Do these things sound familiar?” Dawson asked. “Not much has changed. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result and if we keep electing the same kinds of people we are going to keep getting the same results.”
“I have been in ministry for the last 30 years,” Dawson said. “One thing I hear is: What do you know about politics? Everything in Church is revolved around politics. What I have learned is to focus on what we can agree on and move on. My ministry is a large organization. There are business principles we abide by.
“I have spoken in over 2000 schools across this country,” Dawson said. “I have crisscrossed this state. I have been in every county in this state and worked with ministers in every one of them.”
On improving education, Dawson said “You can’t lead by absenteeism.”
“You have to be at the meetings,” Dawson said. “I will be at every state board of education meeting,” unless there is an unavoidable conflict. “You have got to be there to cast a vision. People are looking at following a leader. We have to make sure that we drive the money into the classroom instead of all of this bureaucracy.”
“Small business is the backbone of our state,” Dawson said. “Nobody goes into business in order to hire a bunch of accountants and lawyers.”
Dawson said that if the state would cut the unnecessary regulations and bureaucratic red tape then small businesses here would thrive.
Dawson said that he supports economic incentives and recruiting new businesses, but one Birmingham CEO told him that every day they joke about moving to Georgia so that Alabama will offer them the incentives to come back.
“My background has been one of ministry,” Dawson said. “I talked to Mike Huckabee and he said, ‘If you go into this you could lose your job, your reputation, your savings and the election.’ Two years ago, I was where you are listening to the candidate. The first question I ask is character. Whoever you choose as your candidate please vet your candidate.”
Dawson is running in a crowded Republican primary field that includes: Gov. Kay Ivey, state Sen. Bill Hightower, R-Mobile, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, and Michael McAllister.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox, former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, former State Rep. James Fields, Anthony White, Christopher Countryman, and Doug “New Blue” Smith are running in the Democratic primary.
The major party primaries are on June 5.