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State House candidate Josh Pendergrass reports successful month of fundraising

He is challenging Republican incumbent Will Dismukes in the Republican Party primary.

Josh Pendergrass

Joshua Pendergrass reported Friday that he had raised $21,503.46 in his candidate filing with the Alabama Secretary of State office. Josh is running for Alabama House of Representatives District 88.

“I raised more in June than anyone challenging an incumbent, and just a few dollars short of one other candidate running for an open seat,” Pendergrass told APR.

Pendergrass reported raising cash contributions of $21,820 and expenditures of just $316.54. He also reported in-kind contributions of $1,140.38.

Pendergrass is a small businessman, Baptist pastor and attorney. He is challenging Republican incumbent Will Dismukes in the Republican Party primary.

This is a daunting challenge as every Republican incumbent in the House who sought re-election in 2018 was victorious. Kirk Hatcher successfully defeated the venerable Alvin Holmes in the Democratic Party primary, but every GOP Alabama House incumbent won on the ballot in 2018 won their party primary as well as the general election.

Will Dismukes, however, faces criminal prosecution on charges that he stole tools and materials from his previous employer, a custom flooring company, before entering the custom flooring business himself. Dismukes maintains his innocence and is running for another term despite the ongoing criminal case.

If convicted on all counts he could not serve in office. Dismukes, a Sons of Confederate Veterans chaplain, has also been asked to resign by many in the district for his politically insensitive attendance at a birthday party for Confederate Nathan Bedford Forrest in Selma coincidentally on the same day that Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis’s, D-Georgia, body was lying in state in Selma.

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Forrest, according to some historical sources, was also the first Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan following the Civil War. Some Republicans, including state Sen. Clyde Chambliss, have suggested that Dismukes does not represent the values of who their party is today or of the Prattville area. Dismukes was elected to his first term in 2018.

“I humbly come before the people of District 88 with a desire to make a difference,” Pendergrass in a statement when he announced his candidacy. “I’m concerned that the American Dream is becoming less and less of a reality for more and more people, and we need a representative who will change that. Our district needs a voice that will stand up for truth who will fight hard to grow educational opportunities and will be a catalyst to help bring good-paying jobs to our community.”

“It starts with protecting our God-given rights and abiding by our conservative values, like defending the unborn, fighting for the Second Amendment and standing for less government,” Pendergrass said.

Pendergrass was a former communications director for Gov. Kay Ivey as well as the influential Alabama Policy Institute.

Pendergrass says that he is a well-known advocate for conservative values and has been an advocate for pro-life causes, limited government and personal property rights. He has also been at the table when it comes to economic development and recruiting good jobs.

Pendergrass runs several e-commerce businesses, a consulting firm, and a company that provides barbecue catering for special events. He is currently the Senior Pastor of Wadsworth Baptist Church in Autauga County.

Pendergrass has a bachelor’s degree from Lambuth University, as well as a masters’s in theology and a law degree from Montgomery’s Faulkner University.

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Pendergrass is married to Leslie, a nurse practitioner in Elmore County. They have one son and resides in Prattville, with their three dogs.

House District 88 consists of parts of Autauga and Elmore Counties, and includes the communities of Prattville, Millbrook, and Coosada.

The Republican primary will be on May 24, 2022.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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