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House District 42 voters go to the polls today

Brandon Moseley

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The special general election for Alabama House District 42 in Chilton and Autauga Counties is today. Polls will open today at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

Republican Autauga County Commissioner Van Smith faces Democrat Kenneth Allison Sr.

The Alabama House District 42 seat became open following the death of State Rep. Jimmy Martin, R-Clanton, from cancer.

Smith defeated Chilton County commissioner Jimmie Hardee, Chilton County Commissioner Allen Caton, and Shannon Welch in the special Republican primary in August.

Smith was born in Chilton County. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriscience from Auburn University and a master’s degree in agriscience from Alabama A&M University as well as a teaching certificate in administrative education from the University of Montevallo.

Smith is a retired educator. He worked 13 years as a vocational education teacher, eight years as assistant principal, and 16 years as principal of Billingsley School. Since retirement in 2013, he became a full-time farmer raising cattle, hay and timber.

Smith has served as vice chairman of the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees and has been on the board of trustees of PowerSouth and the Alabama Rural Electric Association. He is past Autauga County Cattlemen’s Association president and the current President of the Autauga County Farmers Federation president.

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Smith and his wife, Fran, have four adult children and 11 grandchildren. They are members of Indian Grave Baptist Church where he serves as chairman of the deacons.

Smith has the support of ALFA, BCA, and the Alabama Forestry Association.

Kenneth Allison Sr. is age 56 and is originally from Maplesville. He currently lives in Jemison.

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House District 42 has long been controlled by Chilton County; but Autauga County has experienced much higher growth bringing the number of HD42 voters in Autauga to roughly equivalent of HD42 voters in Chilton County.

HD42 has been in Republican hands since 2010.

The seat is seen as a difficult pickup for Democrats; but top Democratic strategist and Voice of Alabama contributor Beth Clayton us urging Democrats to get out and support Allison’s candidacy.

“It’s exciting to see a Democrat running in this district, since we haven’t attempted to win this seat back since the late Rep. Jimmy Martin held it as a Democrat,” Clayton told the Alabama Political Reporter. “Hopefully with the renewed energy in our Party, we’ll continue to field candidates and win races where Democrats haven’t been competitive for the past decade.”

Libertarian Doug Ward turned in enough petition signatures to get ballot access; but not enough were registered voters in HD42; thus his application for ballot access was ultimately rejected by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.

Voters must bring a valid photo ID with them when they go to the polls to vote in any Alabama election.

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.

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Elections

Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police endorses Russell Bedsole

Brandon Moseley

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Alabama House District 49 Republican candidate Russell Bedsole.

The Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Republican candidate Russell Bedsole in the special election in Alabama House of Representatives District 49. Bedsole is a Captain with the Shelby County sheriff’s Department and currently serves on the Alabaster City Council.

“There is no doubt that our country, state, and communities are facing extreme challenges,” said Everette Johnson, the president of the Alabama State FOP. “These challenges have caused stress, divisiveness, and concern for the future of our country. Now more than ever, we need strong, yet compassionate, leaders to guide us through these turbulent times. We need leaders who understand how important the safety of our communities should be and the willingness to work together for all. Russell Bedsole is that leader.”

Bedsole said it is an honor to be endorsed by the Alabama State Fraternal Order of Police.

“As a representative of District 49, I will work to protect law and order in our communities and stand up for our conservative Christian values in Montgomery,” he said.

Bedsole and competitor Mimi Penhale were the top two vote-getters in the Republican primary runoff. Chuck Martin, who came in third, has also endorsed Bedsole.

“I wanted to again thank those that voted for me, supported me by putting up signs and making phone calls,” Martin said in a statement on social media. “I also want to thank those who also made donations to fund my campaign. Since I came in third, Russell Bedsole and Mimi Penhale have both ask for my endorsement. I want to ask those that supported me to support Russell Bedsole. Both candidates are great people, but Debbie and I made the decision to support Russell.”

Bedsole has been elected twice by the citizens of Alabaster to represent the city’s fifth ward on the Alabaster City Council. Bedsole’s campaign said that during his time of service, Alabaster has benefited from positive economic growth, a first-class school system and a high quality of life. He has also received endorsements from the Shelby County Fraternal Order of Police, Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists and Conservation Alabama.

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A runoff election for the District 49 seat will be held on Sept. 1.

“I humbly ask for your vote on September 1 to grant me the opportunity to serve District 49,” Bedsole said.

The special election is being held to fill the seat left vacant when Rep. April Weaver, R-Briarfield, joined President Donald Trump’s administration as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services. House District 49 includes portions of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby Counties. The eventual Republican nominee will face Democratic nominee Cheryl Patton in the Special General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The winner will serve the remainder of April Weaver’s term, which ends in late 2022.

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Voter Protection Corps recruiting local organizers in Alabama

Micah Danney

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The national nonprofit March On is recruiting regional leaders for its Voter Protection Corps. (GRAPHIC VIA MARCH ON)

The national nonprofit March On is recruiting regional leaders for its Voter Protection Corps, a grassroots network of organizers who will be trained to spot and counteract voter suppression ahead of the 2020 election in 14 key states, of which Alabama is one.

“With closed polling places, broken machines, long lines and the assault on mail-in ballots, voter suppression efforts have reached dangerous new heights in 2020,” said Andi Pringle, March On’s director of strategic and political campaigns. “Coupled with a global pandemic, these efforts threaten our ability to hold a free, fair and safe election in November. March On is looking for young leaders who are fired up to turn out the vote and protect democracy.”

Selected recruits will function as captains who then recruit at least five volunteers to form a squad. There will be about 20 squads in each state, Pringle said.

Captains will be trained by lawyers to know the ins and outs of their local election laws. They will train their squads to help voters exercise their rights to mail-in voting and early voting and will establish relationships with local election protection initiatives, election officials and community leaders.

Voter suppression can take many forms, Pringle said, including misinformation about polling locations, voter ID laws and various legal and administrative obstacles that can prevent average people “who don’t live and breathe this stuff” from casting their vote. Fighting such tactics is generally talked about in terms of attorneys and happens on or after Election Day, but that doesn’t prevent bureaucratic disenfranchisement that occurs in the days and weeks before the election, Pringle said.

“So the vote is already suppressed before they even get to the polls,” she said.

March On is recruiting captains from the Divine 9 Black fraternities and sororities, as well as women, veterans, young professionals, college students and recent graduates. It plans to have more than 7,000 corps members nationally.

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Barry Moore “pleased” Trump is taking action to support America’s reopening

Brandon Moseley

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Congressional candidate Barry Moore (VIA BARRY MOORE CAMPAIGN)

Republican congressional candidate Barry Moore, a former state representative from Enterprise, released a statement expressing confidence in President Donald Trump’s leadership after recent remarks by the president.

“President Trump continues to show strong leadership during this crisis, and the most recent round of economic numbers shows this,” Moore said. “I’m pleased that he’s taking action to continue providing the relief Americans so desperately need with his executive orders while the Democrats in both the House and Senate are blocking this relief for their own political gain.”

“I was especially pleased to hear the President speak out so strongly in favor of school choice and ‘paying the student’, so that parents and students could be free to find the best education opportunities, whether that’s a public, private or a charter school,” Moore said. “President Trump and I both agree that the child should come first, and school choice is a strong part of that. The President wants us to reopen our schools safely, as I do, because sitting at home playing on the computer is not the same as being in school.”

At a press conference on Monday, Trump cited the recent upward trend in the stock market, economic numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics July report and a rise in homebuilder’s confidence. The president asserted that “the stock market rebound signals a V-shaped recovery” and that the U.S. has “the strongest performing economy in the world.”

Trump also noted that the U.S. economy was also performing significantly better than in Europe.

“We had to turn the economy off and now we’re turning it back on,” the president said.

The president went on to criticize Democrats including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Californi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, for wanting “radical left agenda items” and “ridiculous things that have nothing at all to do with the China virus” in the most recent relief bill, which is currently stalled in Congress.

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Trump used Democratic demands for $3.5 billion dollars for universal mail-in voting, which the president described as setting up “the greatest rigged election in history,” as just one example of Democratic obstruction.

Trump accused Democrats of holding up money for schools, state and local governments, and extending unemployment benefits and the moratorium on evictions. Trump said that this is what prompted him to sign a series of executive orders on Saturday addressing these issues.

“My hope is that, with the President’s continued leadership, we can continue to reopen our country and our economy, and I look forward to working on our complete recovery when I’m elected to Congress to represent District 2,” Moore concluded.

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Moore is the Republican nominee for Congress in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. Moore is an Auburn University graduate, a small businessman, veteran, husband and father of four. Moore served two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives for 2010 to 2018. He ran for Congress unsuccessfully in 2018. Moore credits that failed run for setting up the groundwork for his winning the Republican nomination in a crowded GOP field in 2020.

Moore faces Democratic nominee Phyllis Harvey-Hall in the Nov. 3 general election. Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Alabama, is retiring from Congress at the end of this term.

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Local government forums to be held in Baldwin County

Brandon Moseley

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The Common Sense Campaign TEA Party is hosting a series of forums for candidates running for mayor and city council in Baldwin County municipalities. CSC announced that these forums are public and part of CSC’s ongoing effort to give citizens the chance to meet and ask questions of candidates running for public office.

All candidates have been invited to participate. Municipal elections in Alabama are non-partisan. The forums will be live-streamed via the CSC Facebook page where citizens can submit questions. Citizens in attendance may also submit questions at the forum.

The governor’s directive regarding social distancing and face masks will be strictly followed. The first forum will be held in Daphne. CSC is also in the planning stage for forums in Gulf Shores and Fairhope. Information on those forums will be released to the public very soon.

The Daphne forum will be held Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Daphne Civic Center, 2603 US Highway 98, Daphne, AL 36526. The moderator will be Dr. Lou Campomenosi, the president of CSC. The forum will be broadcast live over 95.5 FM radio (with a very limited range).

The 2020 City of Daphne municipal elections will be held on Aug. 25, 2020, and if needed, a run-off election will be held on Oct. 6, 2020. The polls will be open on election day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their voting place due to the declared state of emergency due to the COVID-19 global pandemic may apply for an absentee ballot. When applying, you should check the box that reads “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.”

You can find the Application for Municipal Absentee Ballot here. Carefully follow the directions on the application and read the City of Daphne Absentee Voting Information carefully. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is Aug. 20, 2020.

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Steve Carey, Robin Lejeune and Selena Vaughn are running for mayor of Daphne. In city council district one, incumbent Tommie Conaway is unopposed. In district two, Steve Glen is unopposed. In district three, incumbent Joel Coleman is unopposed. In district four, incumbent Doug Goodfin is unopposed. In district five, incumbent Ron Scott is being challenged by Amber Smith. Benjamin Hughes and Wesley Wright are both running in district six. In district seven, incumbent Angela “Angie” Phillips is running unopposed.

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