GOP Senate candidates participated in a forum last week in Gulf Shores before state retirees at the ARSEA/APEAL Convention.
Candidates Stanley Adair, John Merrill, and Arnold Mooney all participated in the forum.
Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, was detained by business in D.C.; but addressed the retirees via video. Auburn Football Coach Tommy Tuberville also joined the group, but minutes too late to participate in the forum.
Former Chief Justice Roy Moore is also a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
Stanley Adair is a businessman from Haleyville, Alabama.
“We sure need to do some changing in Washington,” Adair said. “We need to put someone in to stand up to those crazies in Washington. We have got some of them trying to impeach the President.”
John Merrill is the Alabama secretary of state. Merrill grew up in rural Cleburne County and lives in Tuscaloosa.
“I will help the President build the border wall,” Merrill promised. “We also need comprehensive immigration reform.” We need workers for the construction, infrastructure, hospitality, and agriculture industries. “We need to make sure that those people who do not need to be here are sent back.”
“We need somebody who will push back against the agenda being pushed by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Chuck Schumer,” Merrill said.
Congressman Bradley Byrne said, “I am in Washington voting on some of the issues which are very important for us.”
“We need someone who will fight for us, someone who has experience in cleaning up a swamp.”
Arnold Mooney is a member of the Alabama House of Representatives. Mooney grew up in Montgomery and is from north Shelby County.
“Recent events have caused us to find some new hope,” Mooney said. “President Trump, he has brought back an economy that liberals and crazy people said would never come back. He has repealed the death tax and the waters of the U.S. rule.”
“I am running for what you love and I love our children and grandchildren,” Mooney said.
“Things are moving forward now, but we still have problems in this country,” Adair said. “Congress only has a 13 percent approval rate. Something is wrong with our Congress today. Look at what they are trying to do President Trump tonight.”
Merrill said that as Secretary of State Alabama has set new state records for both voter registration and voter participation. 96 percent of all eligible Black Alabamians are registered to vote and 91 percent of eligible Whites.
“We have removed over 800,000 names from the voter rolls because they have moved away, passed away, or have been put away.” Merrill said. “We have the highest level of integrity in the voter rolls in the history of the state.”
Merrill said that they have been criticized for the state voter ID requirement.
“Those people are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. All we have done is make it easy to vote but hard to cheat,” Merrill explained.
“If we don’t do something what we leave will not be a legacy of freedom,” Mooney said. “There are no Democrats left. They have all left that party to people who do not believe in anything that this country was founded on.”
“We are $22 trillion in debt,” Adair said. “We have got to stop some of this silliness in Washington.”
“Trump is about building the most powerful militaries in the world and I support that,” Adair added.
“We can take our country back and give it to the people of this state and this nation,” Merrill said.
“People are crossing that border in chain immigration,” Mooney said. “It is absurd. It is illegal.”
“We need merit based immigration,” Mooney explained.
Adair said that as a businessman you don’t just take of yourself and your family, but you have to make sure that all of your employees get a check every week.”
Merrill said that as Secretary of State he has saved taxpayers money, reduced staff thirty percent, and reduced the wait time on business filings from seven to nine month to same day.
“We are not operating at the speed of government anymore, but the speed of business,” Merrill said.
Mooney said that illegal immigration is costing us $250 billion a year. It is costing too much and it is all being paid for with deficit spending.
“The national debt is a crying shame,” Mooney said. “We can barely pay the interest on the debt.”
“We cannot continue to send the same folks to Washington and expect different results,” Adair said. “America needs you and needs your vote.”
Merrill said that Democrats are not promoting the “Principles of the founders of this country.”
Mooney said that he met his wife at a Bible study in Montgomery, before moving to Shelby County and embarking on an over 40-year career in commercial real estate.
“We have been blessed to be a part of Montgomery and North Shelby,” Mooney said.
ARSEA/APPEAL hopes to have the eventual Republican nominee and incumbent Senator Doug Jones (D) speak at the convention next year before the 2020 general election on November 3.
The major party primary is March 3.