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Litaker challenges opponent to pledge to not run for another office in 2022

Brandon Moseley

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Thursday, candidate for President of the Alabama Public Service Commission Dr. Robin Litaker (R) pledged not to run as a candidate for another office while she is PSC President and challenged her opponent, incumbent Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R) to make the same pledge.

“When I announced my candidacy for the President of the Alabama Public Service Commission, it was because I recognized the need for true leadership at the PSC; leadership my opponent fails to deliver,” Litaker said. “I know that a person who holds public office must be someone who puts the people above self-preservation.”

Cavanaugh ran for Lt. Governor in 2018, narrowly losing the Republican primary to State Representative Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville).

“The President of the PSC must not be someone who is thinking only of the next political office for which they will be a candidate,” Litaker added. “Today, I am announcing my promise to the people of Alabama that I will not seek another elective office during my first term as the President of the Alabama Public Service Commission. Let me be specific, after I am elected in 2020, I will not run for another political office in 2022. I will work full-time for you and you alone. I challenge my opponent to make the same promise to the people of Alabama. This she will not do because she knows that she never stops thinking about the next office for which she will run.”

“Two years ago, I sought to be a member of the PSC,” Litaker said. “Two years ago, my opponent sought two statewide offices. For a while she ran for governor. Then, when she realized that she couldn’t win that race, she ran for lieutenant governor. Running for office is the only job to which she is fully committed. The president of the PSC must work each day to ensure ratepayers are being treated fairly. Protecting consumers is supposed to be the chief responsibility of the PSC president, not overcharging them in order to score political points. The ratepayers of Alabama deserve a full-time President of the Public Service Commission, not a full-time candidate.”

Litaker is a retired educator with over 32 years of experience in the public school system of Alabama both as a teacher and administrator. She spent 25 years of that time in the classroom working with students both in the Mobile County Public School System and the Hoover City School System.

Litaker has served on numerous state, regional and national boards. She has been president and executive director of several state education associations. Robin has experience working with the public, legislators, governors and business leaders. After retirement Robin attended the Birmingham School of Law. She works for an educational software company.

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Litaker says that she is a devout Christian who believes that God’s calling for her has been to serve people. She says that she now wants to focus on helping all citizens of Alabama by being your next Public Service Commissioner.

Cavanaugh has worked at the Republican National Committee, served a Co-Chief of Staff for Alabama Governor Bob Riley (R), and as the first woman in Alabama history to Chair a major state political party. In 2008 Cavanaugh ran for PSC President against former Lt. Governor Lucy Baxley. She narrowly lost that race. In 2010 she was elected to the PSC as a commissioner. In 2012 she defeated Baxley, then the incumbent. In 2016 Cavanaugh was re-elected. The PSC does not have term limits like other constitutional offices in Alabama.

The Republican primary is on March 3.

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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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Jones campaign director blasts Tuberville for saying $600 “too much” for out-of-work Alabamians

Eddie Burkhalter

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Incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, left, and Republican challenger Tommy Tubberville, right.

The communications director for U.S. Sen. Doug Jones’s re-election campaign on Wednesday called out Tommy Tuberville for saying that $600 in emergency unemployment aid was too much for Alabamians. 

“Tommy Tuberville once again proves he’s out of touch with Alabama. When he ‘resigned’ from his job as a football coach he took a $5.1 million payout for himself. To this day, he receives $800 a week in State Retirement funds for a coaching job he ‘quit’ in 2008,” said Owen Kilmer, communications Director for Jones’s Senate campaign, in a statement Wednesday. 

“But he says $600 in emergency benefits is ‘way too much’ for people in Alabama who lost their jobs in this crisis through no fault of their own. Tuberville says $600 is ‘way too much’ to help people put food on the table and pay utilities,” Kilmer continued. “No wonder, when asked about how to handle this crisis, he said ‘I wouldn’t have a clue.’ It’s true. He doesn’t.”

Tuberville, the Republican Senate nominee, is trying to unseat Jones in the November general election. Jones has called the former Auburn football coach and first-time political candidate an unprepared hyper-partisan.

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Mimi Penhale, Russell Bedsole advance to GOP runoff in HD49

Brandon Moseley

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Miriam "Mimi" Penhale, left, and Russell Bedsole, right, are vying for the vacant Alabama House District 49 seat.

Republican voters in House District 49 went to the polls Tuesday to nominate their next representative. Miriam “Mimi” Penhale and Russell Bedsole received the most votes and will advance on to the special Republican primary runoff scheduled for Sept. 1.

“What an incredible day!” Bedsole said. “Thank you friends and family for your love, support, and prayers. We had a great showing today and we are on to a runoff. Looking forward to getting back out and winning this thing on September 1st.”

“THANK YOU Bibb, Chilton and Shelby County!” Penhale said on social media. “I’m looking forward to earning your vote, again, on September 1 in the runoff.”

The election was very tight between the two. Mimi Penhale received 829 votes, or 31.4 percent of the votes. Russell Bedsole received 919 votes, or 34.8 percent.

The rest of the votes was split among the other four candidates. James Dean received less than 1 percent, Chuck Martin received 24.3 percent, Jackson McNeely received 2.16 percent and Donna Strong received 6.71 percent.

There were 2,639 votes cast on Tuesday. Voter turnout was 8.88 percent.

Bedsole serves on the Alabaster City Council, Pemhale is the director of the Shelby County Legislative office.

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The eventual winner of the Republican nomination will face Democrat Cheryl Patton in the special general election on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

The vacancy in House District 49 was created when State Rep. April Weaver, R-Briarfield, announced her resignation to accept an appointment as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

House District 49 consists of portions of Bibb, Shelby and Chilton Counties. The winner will serve the remainder of Weaver’s term, which ends in late 2022.

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Jimmy Reynolds, Ben Robbins qualify as Republicans for Alabama House District 33

Brandon Moseley

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The Alabama Republican Party on Tuesday closed its candidate qualifying period for the Alabama House of Representatives District 33 special primary election scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Jimmy Reynolds Jr. and Ben Robbins have qualified to run for the District 33 seat in the special Republican primary.

“Our district is a wonderful place to raise a family,” Robbins said in a statement. “We owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave them with more opportunities than we had, and I believe fresh ideas, bold leadership and true conservative values are the foundation of that success.”

Robbins serves on multiple community boards, including Habitat for Humanity, as co-president of Leadership Sylacauga and serves the Talladega Rotary Club as a past-president. He is also active with several local Chambers of Commerce and the Sylacauga Young Professionals. He is a seventh-generation Talladega County resident and the grandson of former Childersburg Mayor Robert Limbaugh. He and his wife Melanie have one son.

Jimmy Reynolds Jr. is a visual arts teacher at Sylacauga City School System. He previously worked for HHGregg Inc. and Tweeter Home Entertainment. Reynolds has a business management degree from Auburn University and lives in Hollins.

The Republican Special Primary Election will be held on Oct. 6, 2020, with the General Election scheduled for Jan. 19, 2021.

The vacancy in House District 33 occurred following the sudden passing of State Rep. Ron Johnson, R-Sylacauga, in July.

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House District 33 consists of portions of Clay, Coosa and Talladega Counties.

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New poll: Tuberville has big lead over Jones in Senate race

Josh Moon

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Incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, left, and Republican challenger Tommy Tubberville, right.

Team voting still rules in Alabama. According to a new Morning Consult poll of Alabama voters, Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville has a double-digit lead over incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, virtually mirroring the advantage President Donald Trump has over Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the state.

The poll of approximately 650 likely Alabama voters shows Tuberville leading 52-35, with a large number of purported “independent” voters still undecided. 

Trump’s lead in that same poll is 58-36. 

The big lead for Tuberville would be a bit of a surprise, given that most polling up to this point has shown Jones performing favorably against both an unnamed Republican challenger and Tuberville specifically. 

Many of the polls documented on the polling tracking website FiveThirtyEight through June and July had Jones trailing Tuberville consistently, but typically falling somewhere between 3 and 10 percentage points behind. Only a Cygnal poll in late June showed him trailing by 14 points — his largest deficit by far at the time. 

While the Morning Consult poll was mostly negative for Jones, the breakdown of responses and the difference between loyalties in the presidential race and the Senate race could prove worrisome for Tuberville’s camp. 

A much higher percentage of respondents in the Senate race identified as “independents,” and 23 percent of that group said they had yet to make up their mind. In fact, among Republicans, while Trump pulled 96 percent of those voters, Tuberville managed just 87 percent. 

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Among those independent voters, Tuberville held just a 7-point lead, 34-27. 

Overall, 9 percent of the respondents were undecided or didn’t plan to vote in the Senate race.

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