Local family law attorney Jesse Heifner released a list of his issue priorities in his campaign for the open House District 74 seat on Friday.
Heifner qualified for the seat in the Alabama House of Representatives formerly held by Rep. Dimitri Polizos, R-Montgomery, who died suddenly from a heart attack.
“After much thought, prayer and encouragement from friends and family, I have decided to run for the State House of Representatives,” Heifner said. “I’m not a politician. I have never run for political office before, but I am someone who is committed to trying to find solutions to the problems that the normal, non-political citizens in this district, like myself, face daily.”
Heifner said his campaign priorities are crime, economic development and political transparency.
“The crime issue is impacting all of Montgomery and our district is not immune to that,” Heifner said. “The crime issue must be vigorously addressed to keep us safe, to keep our property values up and to ensure that new companies with good paying jobs want to come to Montgomery.”
Heifner said if elected, he will advocate for more cameras across District 74 to both serve as a crime deterrent and to catch crime if it occurs. He would also like to see an increase in the number of police officers on patrol in the area.
In terms of people who are convicted of crimes, Heifner would like to work with the district attorney and judges to draft legislation regarding minimum sentencing guidelines to ensure that home invaders and repeat felony offenders serve more time behind bars and receive sentences that are appropriate to the crime.
Heifner said economic development is also a priority as he speaks to District 74 residents about his campaign. He also said he believes it is imperative that city, county and state officials work together to recruit new companies that offer competitive salaries and benefits to the area. He would also like to work with existing businesses, large and small, to eliminate unnecessary burdensome regulations that interfere with their ability to be successful.
“So often, laws are passed with the best intentions, but once they are in effect, they have unintended consequences that are crippling to businesses,” Heifner said. “I want to work with business owners to identify any unnecessary regulations that they are dealing with and eliminate those. I want to help Montgomery be the best place in Alabama to open and operate a business and, in turn, opportunities for people who work at those businesses will increase.”
Heifner pledged that he will be committed to political transparency and is committing to term-limiting himself by serving no more than three terms in the Alabama House of Representatives. Heifner also promised to sponsor legislation that would place term limits on all legislators.
Heifner also said he believes that legislation should be passed to ensure that the taxpayers don’t fund the legal fees of elected officials who have pled guilty to crimes or have resigned from office. Currently, taxpayers have paid more than $500,000 in legal defense fees for former Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned from office and pled guilty to multiple misdemeanors.
“It should not be the financial responsibility of the taxpayers to fund the legal bills of corrupt politicians,” Heifner said. “I will draft legislation to make sure that the citizens of this state will not have to pay those bills in the future.”
Jesse Heifner is an attorney in Montgomery. His practice focuses primarily on family law and adoptions. This is his first run for office.
There are six candidates running in the special Republican primary for HD 74, Michael Fritz, Tobias Grant, Jesse Caleb Heifner, Jay King, Charlotte Meadows and Daniel Sparkman.
Wayford Mack qualified as a Democrat. Mack will await the winner of the Republican primary in the special general election.