Connect with us

Elections

House District 74 candidates’ forum

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Thursday, the three candidates seeking the vacant House District 74 seat met in a forum at Dalraida United Methodist Church in Montgomery.

Republicans, former Montgomery School Board President Charlotte Meadows and attorney Michael Fritz will meet in the Republican primary runoff on August 27. The winner of the runoff will face former Montgomery NAACP President Rayford Mack (D) in the November 12 general election.

All three spoke at the ARSEA/APEAL sponsored candidates forum.

“Montgomery is a great place to live and retire, but I am scared for Montgomery’s future,” Mack said. “We need things to change for future generations to have a great future.”

“If we want our community to grow, we need leaders that will work for the community and not the party or any special interest groups,” Mack said.

Mack outlined an ambitious agenda including expanding the number of professionals who can become school superintendents to people with MBAs and other advanced degrees, establishing apprenticeship programs, high-speed rail, and the creation of a healthcare lottery.

Mack said that a lottery with all of the proceeds dedicated to paying for Medicaid, the Department of Public Health, and Mental Health would free up over $900 million from the state’s general fund budget.

Public Service Announcement


Charlotte Meadows said that she got involved in local education after managing her husband’s medical practice office and seeing all of the resumes they received from receptionist candidates that could not spell.

“We have really got to start encouraging our young people to come back to Montgomery, but we have to provide opportunities for them,” Meadows said,

Meadows is a former Montgomery School Board President, has worked with Students First where she successfully lobbied the legislature for expanding school choice in Alabama, by passing charter schools legislation. She is currently working with the LEAD Academy, which will give Montgomery parents more choices for their children’s education.

Advertisement

“All of my adult life and most of my childhood was right here in House District 74,” Meadows said.

Michael Fritz is a bankruptcy attorney, an adjunct professor at Auburn University Montgomery and a Judge Advocate General in the Army, where he is currently a Lieutenant Colonel.

Fritz joined Navy in 1989, moved to Montgomery in 1990, worked at First Alabama Bank while attending night classes at Auburn University Montgomery.

“I have been practicing law since 1997 most of that time focused on bankruptcy,” Fritz said, He worked with the bankruptcy court for 8 years and in 2008 started a private practice. He joined the Army Reserve as a JAG officer.

The state retirees asked the three about cost of living adjustments for state retirees.

“First you must protect and enhance our current benefit,” Mach said. “Unfunded COLAs would mean that we would have an unfunded liability. To do that we must find new revenue.”

Mack said that he wanted to raise revenue by bringing the film industry to Alabama and by passing his healthcare only lottery, which would free up $908 million in the state budget to do other things.

Meadows said the first we have to “Make sure that the state budget is solvent and sustainable. We have got to make sure that the retirement benefits that you were promised.”

Meadows said that just getting a bonus of $600 at the most by the time you pay taxes on it that is just a couple of meals out. It is not enough for a vacation.

“There are 2,200 state employees in House District 74,” Meadows said. “I do not want to raise taxes, but we need to provide for our employees and our retirees.”

Fritz said, “Defined benefit plans don’t have cost of living increases.”

“I have studied the municipal bankruptcy of Detroit in detail and a lot of their problems were over promising to their retired employees,” Fritz said, “We don’t want to give away short term and not look to long term.”

Fritz said that he would provide the money by growing the economy and increasing tax revenues through increased economic output.

Mack said that if elected he would introduce legislation to expand Medicaid.

Meadows said that while she does not like a gas tax, the legislature took action so our roads should start improving. Now we have got to address the prison situation and that will be a huge outlay of money.

“Nobody wants to see us treat state prisoners inhumanely,” Meadows said. “The prisons also need to also be a safe place for people to work. Nobody should go to work afraid if they are going to get killed today.”

“I don’t gamble,” Fritz said. “I am not a big proponent of gambling,” but we are losing a lot of business to other states because we do not have a lottery.

Fritz said that while he supports a lottery, he will not support a college scholarship lottery like Florida or Georgia. That supports the education of the middle class but does not help everybody.

Fritz also said that he is in favor of Medicaid expansion.

The event was sponsored by ARSEA/APEAL, a 19,000-member statewide organization that represents public retirees and active employees eligible to retire on the state, local, and county government levels.

The HD74 legislative seat became vacant when State Rep. Dimitri Polizos (R) passed away from a sudden heart attack in March.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

Advertisement

Elections

Former UA president Judy Bonner endorses Jeff Sessions

Staff

Published

on

By

GOP Senate candidate Jeff Sessions.

Former University of Alabama President Judy Bonner has penned a letter endorsing Jeff Sessions in the race for U.S. Senate.

“During his 20 years in the Senate, Jeff worked side-by-side with our senior senator, Richard Shelby, always fighting for Alabama values and looking after Alabamians. I’m sure Senator Shelby would agree that no finer person has ever served in the U.S. Senate than Jeff Sessions. Jeff is a man with the highest degree of integrity, character and honesty. Together, they made an impressive team for our state and can do so again,” Bonner said. 

“When Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina hit Alabama in 2004 and 2005, Jeff and his wife, Mary, were literally passing water bottles out in Bayou La Batre and helping provide food and shelter to those affected throughout South Alabama. And when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in 2010, Senator Sessions, Senator Shelby and my brother, Jo, were keeping the pressure on Ken Feinberg and BP to make sure our state was compensated,” Bonner said. 

“While in the Senate, Jeff visited every county – all 67 – at least once a year. Like Senator Shelby, he knows Alabama like the back of his hand. And when our people have needed their senator to help them cut through the bureaucracy at the VA, Social Security or one of the many other federal agencies, Senator Sessions and his team were always there for us. He knows how to represent Alabama in Washington – and serve all of us – because he has been a servant leader his entire life,” Bonner wrote.

Bonner pointed to Sessions’s ability to deliver results for Alabama immediately.

“Another important point to consider is there will come a day when Senator Shelby decides to retire. Do we want our next senior senator to have more than 20-years-experience and seniority or do we want someone who is still learning his way around the Capitol?” Bonner asked. 

Bonner concluded her letter with this note about Jeff Sessions:

Public Service Announcement


“He is Alabama through and through. I hope you will consider giving him your support and trust as well. He has never let Alabama down and he never will.”

Continue Reading

Congress

Perry Hooper endorses Tuberville

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Former State Rep. Perry Hooper Jr., Trump National Victory committee member, formally endorsed former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate on Thursday.

“I have known Coach Tommy Tuberville since he first arrived at Auburn in 1999,” Hooper said. “Since day one when I went to watch my sons practice football, he was always talking to me about Republican Party Politics. I knew it was in his blood. Little did I know at the time, I would be joining the President in supporting him for the United States Senate.”

“Coaching football is more about leadership than X’s and O’s,” Hooper continued. “Tommy’s leadership abilities were the first thing that impressed me when we first met. He has been places recruiting that few people running for office have. He has been in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the country, convincing Mommas how he was going to help mold their 17 years old sons into men. He really cares about everyday people and what is best for our neighborhoods and schools. He has been a great teacher of life lessons as well as an outstanding football coach. He brought in former Auburn Linebacker Chette Williams to serve as the Auburn football team chaplain. He is a dedicated Christian and dedicated to his family which includes his former players. This is what this country needs now – leaders not career politicians.”

“Tommy Tuberville is a principled, free market conservative who has the support of President Trump and has put together a great campaign to defeat Doug Jones,” said David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth PAC “President Trump’s endorsement is by far the most important endorsement a candidate can earn for a Republican Primary, and we are glad to join President Trump in supporting Tommy Tuberville.”

Club for Growth PAC has been strongly supporting Tommy Tuberville for Senate and Barry Moore and Bill Hightower in the Second and First Congressional Districts.

During these turbulent times, the President needs Tommy Tuberville on his team.,” Hooper said. “As the President stated in his endorsement “Tommy Tuberville loves his country and will never let it down”. He is 100 % behind the President and the Trump Agenda. He could easily have retired after his long successful football career, but there is one more chapter in his life – serving in the US Senate. He has been a winner on and off the football field; as Senator he will be a big win for America and Alabama.”

Hooper is a member of the Alabama Republican Executive Committee and a strong supporter of Auburn University athletics.

Public Service Announcement


Tuberville faces former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions on Tuesday, July 14, in the Republican primary runoff. The winner of the Republican nomination will face incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, in the Nov. 3 general election.

Continue Reading

Elections

Moore, Coleman campaigns spar after Roby endorses Coleman

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Barry Moore, left, and Jeff Coleman, right, are in the Republican runoff in the 2nd Congressional District.

Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby on Thursday endorsed Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff. Barry Moore, who challenged Roby’s re-election in the 2018 Republican primary, dismissed the endorsement.

“I fully support Jeff Coleman to be our next Congressman,” Roby said in a statement. “Jeff Coleman is a businessman who supports cutting government regulation and lowering taxes to help grow a strong economy. Jeff strongly supports our men and women serving in uniform, as well as our veterans. The Second District needs someone who will support our interests right here in southeast Alabama, particularly our farmers. Jeff will do just that. He’ll get results for Alabama.”

Former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) said in a statement: “While we appreciate Martha’s service, let’s remember that she has been part of the establishment in Washington for a long time–the same swamp President Trump has been trying to drain. The people of District 2 will always remember that Martha Roby turned her back on Donald Trump when he needed us most. She was the first member of Congress to draft a letter asking him to drop out of the Presidential race. That is something that we will never forget. President Trump needs our support. Can we really trust Roby/Coleman for that?”

“I am proud to be endorsed by The House Freedom Fund, the PAC of the House Freedom Caucus,” Moore continued. “The members of the Freedom Caucus are considered the President’s closest advisors in the House and they have been leading the conservative fight in Congress. The voter’s choice is the same old swamp with Coleman or Barry Moore, who is supported by the most Conservative group in Congress. I look forward to representing the people of District 2 and I am thankful for their support.”

The Coleman campaign responded to Moore’s response.

Coleman campaign manager Dalton Dismukes said, “Mr. Moore cites Representative Roby’s service as “she has been part of the establishment in Washington for a long time” as she served five terms. This is interesting because in the Tuesday WTVY Debate, Mr. Moore, when pressed about his support of term limits and how long he would stay went on to say he would serve “maybe 10 years–five terms” Just seems hypocritical and inconsistent.”

“Mr. Moore also cites Rep. Roby’s past with President Trump saying Rep. Roby was part of, “The same swamp President Trump has been trying to drain.” But he didn’t mention that President Trump actually endorsed Rep. Roby in 2018 when he tweeted, “I fully endorse Martha for Alabama 2nd Congressional District!,” Dismukes added. “Lastly, and arguably most importantly, Mr. Moore is quoted as saying, “The people of District 2 will always remember when Martha Roby turned her back on Donald Trump when he needed us most.” Yet he is proud to be endorsed by Club for Growth who spent $7,000,000 against Trump the very same year and the very same election.”

Public Service Announcement


Club for Growth PAC is supporting Moore as well as Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville and First Congressional candidate Bill Hightower in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff.

Coleman has been endorsed by the Business Council of Alabama, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Alabama Farmer’s Federation.

Continue Reading

Elections

Congresswoman Martha Roby endorses Jeff Coleman

Staff

Published

on

By

Congressional candidate Jeff Coleman. (CAMPAIGN)

Congresswoman Martha Roby endorsed Jeff Coleman for Congress Thursday. “I fully support Jeff Coleman to be our next Congressman,” Roby said. “Jeff Coleman is a businessman who supports cutting government regulation and lowering taxes to help grow a strong economy. Jeff strongly supports our men and women serving in uniform, as well as our veterans.”

She continued, “The Second District needs someone who will support our interests right here in southeast Alabama, particularly our farmers. Jeff will do just that. He’ll get results for Alabama.”

“I am humbled and honored to receive this strong endorsement from Representative Roby. She has been a staunch supporter of our military men and women, as well as our farmers. I am looking forward to continuing her legacy of fighting for our conservative Alabama values, protecting the family farm, and fighting to ensure our veterans and active-duty personnel have all the resources they need,” Coleman said of the endorsement.

Coleman has now been endorsed by 10 mayors, multiple business associations in the state, the U.S. Chamber, and Roby. Coleman finished the Republican Primary on March 3 with 38 percent of the vote — 18 points ahead of his closest challenger.

Coleman has never run for public office and touts a 35-year successful business career.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Authors

Advertisement

The V Podcast