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Byrne is first to announce 67 county leadership team

Brandon Moseley

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Monday, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) announced the launch of his Grassroots Leadership Team for his bid to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Byrne’s is the first Senate candidate to release an all 67 county leadership team. The team includes over 200 key community leaders.

“It is an honor to have so many people from every corner of the state joining us in the fight to bring our Alabama values to the U.S. Senate,” Byrne said. “We are going to win this primary and defeat Doug Jones thanks to this team of homegrown supporters.”

“Bradley was the first candidate to announce financial contributions from all 67 counties and is now the first candidate to announce a full 67 county leadership team,” said Byrne campaign manager Seth Morrow. “The people of Alabama are ready for a Christian, conservative fighter, and they know Bradley is the man for the job. We are committed to an Alabama grassroots campaign that is built to last, and the Grassroots Leadership Team marks yet another milestone for our campaign.”

Members of the Grassroots Leadership Team serve as coordinators in their community and help with an assortment of tasks ranging from hosting meet and greets to distributing yard signs.

Byrne had previously announced that persons from every county in the state have made a financial contribution to Bradley’s campaign.

Byrne is presently representing Alabama’s First Congressional District. He has also served previously served the people of Alabama as head of the State Two Year College System, State Senator, and on the State School Board. Byrne was a 2010 candidate for governor, but lost the Republican runoff to State Representative Robert Bentley (R-Tuscaloosa).

Byrne is running for the Republican nomination for the seat currently held by Doug Jones (D). Sources tell the Alabama Political Reporter that Byrne will file the paperwork to formally qualify this afternoon at Republican State Headquarters in Hoover.

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Current members of the team include:
Senator Greg Albritton – Escambia County
Francis Andrews – Limestone County
Harold Appling – Tuscaloosa County
Greg Atkinson – Talladega County
JoAnn Averett – Chilton County
Loretta Bach – Montgomery County
Richard Baker – Marshall County
Donna Baker – Walker County
Representative Mike Ball – Madison County
Peggy Bamberg – Montgomery County
Mayor Ed Beasley – Crenshaw County
Bradley Bedwell – Houston County
Ann Priester Bennett – Lee County
Curt Bigbee – Franklin County
John Blue – Madison County
Ron Bolton – Tuscaloosa County
Traci Bowden – Marshall County
Billy Bowden – Marshall County
Jen Boyles – Russell County
Will Boyles – Russell County
Mayor David Bradford – Colbert County
Duwayne Bridges – Chambers County
Trey Brinkley – Etowah County
Representative Chip Brown – Mobile County
Dicksie Bush – Calhoun County
Emily Butler – Colbert County
Senator Tom Butler – Madison County
Kirkland Byars – Tuscaloosa County
David Byers – Jefferson County
Tom Cain – Randolph County
Sharon Cain – Randolph County
Jim Cary – Marshall County
Bill Castlen – Houston County
Frances Castlen – Houston County
Kenny Childree – Bullock County
Sheriff Sam Cochran – Mobile County
Bo Colley – Chambers County
Representative Terri Collins – Morgan County
Bruce Cooke – Sumter County
Mayor Jenny Countryman – Monroe County
Dylan Cox – Mobile County
Bill Crain – Madison County
Daniel Craven – Baldwin County
Ashton Crihfield – Lauderdale County
Belinda Crouch – Washington County
Donna Cude – Jefferson County
Rex Davis – Limestone County
John Dawson – Etowah County
Bart Dawson – St. Clair County
Mayor Sheldon Day – Clarke County
Mary Martha Defoor – Montgomery County
Grant DeMuth – Marshall County
Celia Dixon – Elmore County
Charla Doucet – Chilton County
Emily Durden – Montgomery County
Mason Dyess – Tuscaloosa County
Representative Brett Easterbrook- Washington County
Steve Edwards – Colbert County
Tracey Edwards – Elmore County
Gary Edwards – Elmore County
Don Edwards – Lee County
Gayle Edwards – Lee County
Senator Chris Elliott – Baldwin County
Bo Evans – Autauga County
Punkin Evans – Autauga County
Kathy Evans – Autauga County
Bradfield Evans – Lowndes County
Representative David Faulkner – Jefferson County
Representative Joe Faust – Baldwin County
Troy Fillingim – Henry County
Don Fisher – Montgomery County
Karen Fisher – Montgomery County
Katie Foster – Colbert County
Judy Fraser – Shelby County
Joe Fuller – Jefferson County
Vickie Fuller – Jefferson County
Representative Victor Gaston – Mobile County
Greg Gagliano – Shelby County
Kim Gagliano – Shelby County
Darren Garner – Macon County
James Gilliland Sr. – Coosa County
Joe Glass – Calhoun County
Kim Glass – Calhoun County
Logan Glass – Etowah County
Marvin Gregory – Tuscaloosa County
Art Hahn – Tallapoosa County
Commissioner Robert Ham – Lee County
Mayor Johnny Hammock – Tallapoosa County
Charles Hardage – Chambers County
Don Harris – Montgomery County
Howard Harrison – Coffee County
Grady Hartzog – Barbour County
Wesley Helton – Shelby County
Davis Henry – Dallas County
Rod Herring – Lee County
Karen Herring – Lee County
Steve Hicks – Cherokee County
Steve Hicks – Lauderdale County
David Hogan – Jefferson County
Kevin Holland – Escambia County
Leslie Hollingsworth – Shelby County
Webb Holmes – Perry County
Mayor Steve Holt – Lauderdale County
Cheryl Holt – Shelby County
Gene Howard – Calhoun County
Virginia Howard – Dale County
Kent Howard – Jefferson County
Carlton Hunley – Lee County
Will Hurts – Lawrence County
Sheriff Heath Jackson – Escambia County
Senator Andrew Jones – Cherokee County
Lisa Jones – Marshall County
Meador Jones – Hale County
Laura Joseph – Shelby County
Mark Kaiser – Baldwin County
Michael Keller – Winston County
Cody Kruse – Montgomery County
Steve Langley – Marion County
Bubba Lee – Baldwin County
Nick Lee – St. Clair County
Shag LaPrade – Coffee County
Senator Steve Livingston – Jackson County
Chris Live – Houston County
Mark Long – DeKalb County
Barney Lovelace – Morgan County
Jack Lovelady – Jackson County
Nikki Lovelady – Lawrence County
Margarett Lovett – Colbert County
Sheriff Hoss Mack – Baldwin County
Grady Martin – Choctaw County
Kirk Mattei – Mobile County
Ray McCarty – Pickens County
Mary Sue McClurkin – Shelby County
Van McClurkin – Shelby County
Colin McGuire – Butler County
Suzanne McKee – Marengo County
Robert McKee – Marengo County
Representative Steve McMillan – Baldwin County
Tom McMillan – Escambia County
Stephen McNair – Mobile County
Austin Monk – Cullman County
Pam S. Morris – Jefferson County
Will Morris – St. Clair County
Mayor Charles Murphy – Baldwin County
Jim Murphy – Blount County
Jason Neff – Tuscaloosa County
Sue Neuwien – Coffee County
Brown Nolen – Lauderdale County
Baylie Norton – Cleburne County
Jeff Overstreet – Etowah County
Summer Overstreet – Etowah County
Mike Parsons – Madison County
Brooks Payne – Tuscaloosa County
Captain Hal Pierce – Mobile County
Renee Powers – Chilton County
Tom Powers – Chilton County
Barbara L. Priester – Lee County
Cathy Quin – Tuscaloosa County
Charlie Ramsey – Monroe County
Rhonda Reynolds – Chilton County
Representative Kerry Rich – Marshall County
Elaine Ridenour – Dale County
Pete Riehm – Mobile County
Glenda Reitzell – Madison County
Colonel John Rietzell – Madison County
John Roberts – Madison County
Salem Saloom – Conecuh County
Daniel Sawyer – Monroe County
Deb Sellers – Jefferson County
John Sellers – Jefferson County
Art Sessions – Mobile County
Senator David Sessions – Mobile County
Greg Shirley – Talladega County
Representative Harry Shriver – Baldwin County
Kara Silvers – Lee County
Representative Matt Simpson – Baldwin County
Sheriff Rick Singleton – Lauderdale County
Stephanie Smith – Jefferson County
Eddie Smith – Lee County
Mike Sparks – Clay County
Alyce Spruell – Tuscaloosa County
Zach Stanton – Tuscaloosa County
David Steele – Mobile County
Jack Steele – Wilcox County
Kermit Marcus Stephens III – Bibb County
Karen Stewart – Elmore County
Sally French Stewart – Jefferson County
Representative Shane Stringer – Mobile County
Sam Stroud – Pike County
Mayor Bernie Sullivan – Crenshaw County
Sam Taylor – Lamar County
Lt. Col. Jim Terrell – Madison County
Jeff Thagard – Dale County
Robin Thagard – Dale County
Charlie Thompson – Lauderdale County
Steven Thornton – Madison County
Don Waldon – Fayette County
James Walker – Lauderdale County
Tim Walker – Marshall County
Jessie Weeks – Geneva County
Mikel Weeks – Geneva County
Honorable Tracie West — Lee County
Hugh Wheeless – Houston County
Chairman Greg White – Covington County
Representative Andy Whitt – Madison County
Representative Margie Wilcox – Mobile County
Senator Jack Williams – Mobile County
John Willis – Franklin County
Mayor Bob Wills – Baldwin County
Joann Wilmore – Autauga County
Don Woods – Greene County
Honorable David Yarber – Colbert County

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Elections

Carl, Hightower raising money for July GOP primary runoff

Brandon Moseley

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Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl and former State Senator Bill Hightower are running in the Republican Party primary runoff on July 14.

Both campaigns are preparing for the final push. Their Federal Elections Commission reports on their fundraising efforts are through the end of March.

Carl reported total receipts of $1,513,462.10. $709,525.10 of Carl’s money comes contributions. $670,169.60 of that is contributions from individuals; while $37,700 are contributions from other committees. Carl has contributed $1,655.50 to his own campaign. Carl’s congressional campaign also reports personally loaning his campaign $758,900.

Carl has already spent $1,307,240.85. $1,114,940.85 was for campaign operating expenses, $400 was for contribution refunds and $191,900 were loan repayments. Carl entered the month with $206,221.25 in cash on hand and debts of $567,000.

R.E. Myles of Grand Bay, AL donated $8400 to Carl’s campaign. Myles is the President of the law firm McDowell, Knight, Roedder, & Sledge. There are two entries for Mr. Myles of Grand Bay. The second is for $5,600. Carl’s other top contributors include: Rachel Burton is a Mobile housewife $5,800. Philip Burton of Mobile contributed $5,600. Burton works for the Burton Property Group. Clarence Burke Jr. of Foley works for Wolf Creek Industries $5,600. Nancy Myles of Grand Bay is retired, $5,600. Morgan Myles is a Mobile engineer with Core Industries, $5600. White-Spunner & Associates is a real estate firm, $5,400. Warren Nicholson of Mobile, who works for NFINA Technology, $5,400. Kathy Nichols of Mobile is retired, $5,400. Matt Metcalfe is a Mobile realtor, $5,400. Jerry Lathan is a contractor from Theodore, $5,400.

Former State Senator Bill Hightower reported total contributions of $1,071,355.21. $1,032,155.21 were individual contributions; while $39,200 were contributions from other committees. Hightower has no outstanding loans.

Hightower has already spent $858,340.60. $848,860.60 were operating expenses. $5,600 were refund contributions to individuals. $3,880 were other disbursements. The Hightower campaign had $213,023.40 in cash on hand.

Club for Growth PAC is supporting Hightower and they have donated $19.600 to his campaign. Major contributors include: Richard Uihlein of Lake Forest, Illinois is the CEO/owner of Uline, $11,200. Roy Drinkard of Cullman is the owner of Drinkard Construction, $2,800. Lamar Harrison of Wilmer, AL is the President of Gulf Construction and Hauling, $2,800.00. Rhonda Scott is an Opelika homemaker, $2,800.00. Allen Harris of Opelika is the owner of Bailey-Harris Construction Company $2,800. Donna Williams is a Mobile homemaker $2,800. George Montgomery is the president of his own company $2,800. Sherri Trick is a Tuscaloosa homemaker $2,800. Carrie Montgomery of Mobile is the treasurer at Gulf Fastener. $2,800. Kreis William of Birmingham is a vice president at JohsonKreis Construction $2,800.

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The winner of the Republican primary runoff will face the winner of the Democratic Party primary runoff between James Averhart and Kiani Gardner

The First Congressional District is an open seat, because incumbent Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, is not seeking re-election.

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Elections

League of Women Voters of Alabama sue over voting amid COVID-19 pandemic

Eddie Burkhalter

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The League of Women Voters of Alabama on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Gov. Kay Ivey, Secretary of State John Merrill and several Montgomery County election officials asking the court to expand Alabama’s absentee voting and relax other voting measures amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The nonprofit is joined in the suit by 10 plaintiffs who range in age from 60 to 75, many of whom have medical conditions that put them at greater risk for serious complications or death from COVID-19. 

“Voting is a right, not a privilege, and elections must be safe, accessible, and fairly administered,” the League of Women Voters of Alabama said in a press release Thursday. “Alabama’s Constitution specifically requires that the right to vote be protected in times of ‘tumult,’ clearly including the current pandemic.” 

Currently, to vote absentee in Alabama, a person must send a copy of their photo ID and have their ballot signed by a notary or two adults. The lawsuit asks the court to require state officials to use emergency powers to waive the notary or witness requirement, the requirement to supply a copy of a photo ID and to extend no-excuse absentee voting into the fall. 

Among the plaintiffs is Ardis Albany, 73, of Jefferson County who has an artificial aortic valve, according to the lawsuit. 

“Because she fears exposing herself to COVID-19 infection, Ms. Albany has already applied for an absentee ballot for the November 3, 2020, general election,” the complaint states. “Her application checked the box for being out of county on election day, and she is prepared to leave Jefferson County on election day if necessary to vote an absentee ballot.” 

Another plaintiff, 63-year-old Lucinda Livingston of Montgomery County suffers from heart and lung problems and has been sequestered at home since March 17, where she lives with her grandson, who’s under the age of five, according to the complaint. 

“She fears acquiring COVID-19, given her physiological pre-morbidity, and she fears spreading the virus to her grandson at home,” the complaint states. “She has never voted an absentee ballot, but she wishes to do so in the elections held in 2020. She does not have a scanner in her home, cannot make a copy of her photo ID, and has no way safely to get her absentee ballot notarized or signed by two witnesses.” 

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In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Gov. Ivey pushed the Republican runoff election back until July 14. Although Merrill has allowed those who may be concerned about voting in person in the runoff to vote absentee by checking a box on the ballot that reads “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.”

Merril has not extended that offer for voters in the municipal and presidential elections in November, however. 

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alabama continue to rise, while testing for the virus has remained relatively flat in recent weeks. 

“We’re extraordinarily concerned about the numbers that we have been seeing,” said Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, speaking during a press briefing Thursday. 

Harris said the department continues to see community spread of the virus and have identified several hotspots. He’s concerned that the public isn’t taking the virus seriously or following recommendations to wear masks in public and maintain social distancing, he said Thursday. 

“One hundred years ago the nonpartisan League of Women Voters was founded to protect and preserve the right to vote and the integrity of the electoral process,” said Barbara Caddell, President of the League of Women Voters of Alabama, in a statement. “The unexpected risks posed by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19) challenge our election system to the utmost.  Today, we ask that Alabama’s courts use Alabama’s laws to make it safe and possible for all citizens to vote.”

The League of Woman Voters of Alabama’s lawsuit is similar to a suit by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program which asks the court to require state officials to implement curbside voting for at-risk citizens during the coronavirus pandemic and to remove requirements for certain voter IDs and witnesses requirements.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday filed a brief in that suit that states the department doesn’t believe Alabama’s law that requires witnesses for absentee ballots violates the Voting Rights Act.

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National Right to Life Committee endorses Aderholt

Brandon Moseley

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Wednesday, the campaign to re-elect Congressman Robert Aderholt, (R Haleyville) announced that the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has endorsed him for re-election to Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District.

“I am truly humbled to have the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee,” said Congressman Aderholt. “I have, and I always will, fight for those who are the most vulnerable among us. I cannot think of anyone more vulnerable than the unborn. The National Right to Life Committee is committed to this fight, and it is an honor to fight along side them. As I have said before, no argument on the Pro-Choice side can get around one fundamental fact, abortion stops a human heartbeat.”

The NRLC Committee commended Aderholt in its endorsement:

“National Right to Life is pleased to endorse you for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives,” the Committee wrote. “We strongly commend you for maintaining a perfect 100% pro-life voting record throughout the 116th Congress.”

“You voted in support of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” the endorsement letter continued. “This legislation would require that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded the same degree of care that would apply to any other child at the same gestational age. You support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This Act would protect unborn children at 20 weeks, a point by which the unborn child is capable of experiencing great pain when being killed by dismemberment or other late abortion methods. You oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortion, and you oppose taxpayer funding of abortion providers.”

“You are a strong advocate for life,” the Committee said of Rep. Aderholt. “This endorsement reflects your commitment to strengthening a culture of life throughout our nation and in the U.S. House. We look forward to continuing our important work with you to protect the most vulnerable members of the human family – unborn children, the medically dependent, and persons with disabilities, whose lives are threatened by abortion or euthanasia.”

“All voters who are concerned with the right to life and with the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family should vote to return you to the U.S. House, so that you can continue to work to advance vital pro-life public policies,” the endorsement letter concludes.

Robert B. Aderholt is a member of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, which has jurisdiction over funding the operation of the federal government. He serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. Aderholt also serves as a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee and the Defense Subcommittee. Aderholt is an advocate of fiscal responsibility, truth in budgeting and a federal government that operates within its means.

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Aderholt also serves as a commission member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (commonly known as the Helsinki Commission). The Helsinki Commission is comprised of 56 countries around the world that together monitors human rights in Europe and Central Asia.

Aderholt believes the federal government serves a critical role in assisting state and local projects regarding economic development. He support pro-growth initiatives that create jobs, strong immigration standards, and robust national security.

Prior to his election to Congress, Aderholt served as Assistant Legal Advisor to Governor Fob James (R) as well as Municipal Judge for the city of Haleyville, Alabama. Aderholt has a bachelor’s degree from Birmingham Southern College and a law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He was born on July 22, 1965, and raised in Alabama, Aderholt and his wife, Caroline, have two children.

Congressman Robert Aderholt is seeking his thirteenth term representing Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District.

Aderholt faces a general election challenge from Democratic nominee Rick Neighbors.

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Phyllis Schlafly Eagles’ President Ed Martin endorses Bill Hightower for Congress

Brandon Moseley

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Wednesday, Bill Hightower’s campaign for Congress announced that Phyllis Schlafly Eagles’ President Ed Martin is endorsing Hightower.

In addition to serving as President of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, Ed Martin also co-authored Phyllis Schlafly’s last book: ‘The Conservative Case for Trump.’ Martin succeeded Schlafly after her death late in 2016. She was 92.

“In the tradition of the late Phyllis Schlafly, I am pleased to endorse Bill Hightower for Congress in Alabama’s First Congressional District” said Ed Martin. “We endorse candidates who support President Trump and his Pro America agenda. Those candidates must be pro-life, pro-family, and pro-Constitution. Bill Hightower is a strong conservative with a proven track record of supporting these fundamental American values.”

“I am thrilled to receive Ed’s endorsement,” Hightower said. “Phyllis and her Eagles were foundational leaders of the pro-family, conservative movement and ensuring traditional values were engaged in the political process. Those are the same values I support, those are the same values that made me one of Alabama’s most conservative state senators during my time in Montgomery, and those are the same values I will take with me to represent south Alabama in Washington.”

Schlafly was the founder and longtime President of Eagle Forum. Ed Martin was President of Eagle Forum, but was forced out by the Board led by Schlafly’s daughter who were backing Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for President. Schlafly and her sons endorsed Trump and created the break-away Eagles group in response.

Martin’s endorsement is the latest conservative leader to endorse Hightower’s campaign for Congress. Hightower has been endorsed by the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization, National Right to Life; as well as former Senator Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, and Sen. Cruz.

Hightower was ranked as one of the most conservative State Senators in Alabama when he was in the legislature. There he advocated for smaller government, lower taxes, term limits, and a flat state income tax. Hightower was a candidate for Governor in 2018; but was defeated by Gov. Kay Ivey in the Republican primary.

As a boy, Hightower worked on his grandparent’s farm, cleaned swimming pools, and as a laborer on construction projects. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama and a Master’s in Business Administration from Vanderbilt University.

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In business, Bill has worked with Fortune 500 and other corporations including Emerson Electric, AlliedSignal, Eaton, and Balfour-Beatty. In 2002, he moved back to Mobile, to be closer to family. He now runs several small businesses.

Bill Hightower is married to Susan Binegar Hightower. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Hightower faces Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl in the Republican primary runoff on July 14.

The winner of the GOP runoff will face the winner of the Democratic Party runoff where James Averhart is running against Kiani Gardner. The general election will be November 3.

Incumbent Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, is not seeking re-election.

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