As one of the many candidates looking to succeed U.S. Rep. Martha Roby in the Second Congressional District, APR recently spoke with Jeff Coleman, who characterizes himself as a strong conservative Republican who is about getting results.
Coleman is the fifth-generation leader of a family-owned moving, storage and transportation business that was established in 1914. Coleman Worldwide Moving is headquartered in Midland City in southeast Alabama and is ranked as one of the top 30 largest private companies in the State of Alabama.
“I wasn’t planning to run for Congress,” said Coleman. “It’s not like I’ve been calculating this my whole life.” But when Roby suddenly announced her retirement in July, Coleman said that he was encouraged to run for the vacant seat.
“I tell people Martha Roby created this opportunity because, with her retirement, God opened that door.”
Coleman attributes his success in life to faith, family and a willingness to give back to his community. “My body of work in the business world my work in the community with charitable organizations and working hard every day has led me to this moment,” Coleman said.
At 53 years-old and an empty-nester, Coleman says the timing is right for him to offer his years of business experience and community leadership to serve in Congress.
“People have asked me before [to run for office], but until now, I never felt the calling this time was different,” he said. “The timing was right, we discerned it, prayed about it and we felt the call to enter the arena.”
At the top of his priorities is job creation within the district, followed closely by education and supporting the military in CD-2.
“First and foremost is being a job creator,” said Coleman. “I believe all our problems in this country can be solved with an excellent, quality job. Leading up to that is education, which is the foundation to creating a prosperous workforce.”
Coleman says as a congressman; he will work to promote economic development across all of CD-2 from manufacturing to farming and everything in between. “We need to promote growth in the services industry, manufacturing and our number one industry our farmers and agribusiness,” said Coleman.
He is also committed to supporting the military insulations in the district, which includes Maxwell Airbase, Gunter Annex and Ft. Rucker. “I will work hard to support our active military and our veterans,” said Coleman. With around 80,000 veterans living in the district, Coleman says providing for those individuals, “healthcare and mental health services and everything else,” is a must. “It’s very important that we take care of them,” said Coleman. “They have taken care of us and protected our freedoms and we need to be there for them.”
A wealthy businessman, Coleman comes to the race with a money advantage, which has led to private criticism by his opponents. Coleman isn’t ashamed of his success, seeing it as a testament to his ability.
“I started work at ten years old, I’m a leader, a hard worker and today I lead a business that has been around for over a hundred years,” Coleman said. He says he wants to bring that type of economic success to the entire district.
Coleman comes across as personable and knowledgeable with a speech pattern that is laced with business-speaks and faith references. He hits all the requisite notes for a Republican candidate. He supports President Trump, wants to build the wall and is an advocate for lower taxes, fewer regulations and less government intrusion.
In the Republican primary on March 3, Coleman will face a crowded field of contenders.