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Kenneth Paschal wins House District 73 special election

Paschal is the first African-American Republican to be elected to the Alabama Legislature since Reconstruction in the 1870s.

Retired Army First Sgt. and state Rep. Kenneth Paschal.

Shelby County voters in Alabama House District 73 went to the polls Tuesday and elected Kenneth Paschal as their legislator in the Alabama House of Representatives. Paschal is the first African-American Republican to be elected to the Alabama Legislature since Reconstruction in the 1870s.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl congratulated Paschal on the victory.

“The Alabama Republican Party is incredibly enthusiastic about the election of Kenneth Paschal to House District 73. Representative-elect Paschal – the first African-American Republican elected to the Legislature since Reconstruction – is a man of exceptional character whose ‘God and Country’ campaign resonated with Shelby County residents,” Wahl said in a statement. “After serving honorably for over two decades in the U.S. Army, he came home to Alabama, where he has spent the last 10 years volunteering for pro-family causes. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Representative-elect Paschal during this campaign and am honored to call him a friend. I look forward to working with him on the issues that matter most to Alabama voters.”

The HD73 special general election was necessary to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Matt Fridy who was elected to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.

“I want to thank the voters of Shelby County for the trust they placed in me today,” Paschal said. “I had never run for office before, but I feel like our campaign was really embraced by the people. I think they were looking for an outsider. As I’ve said all along, we have too many politicians that can’t seem to get things done or stand up for what they believe. I’m running for God and country. I think that really resonated with folks.”

As of press time, Democrat Sheridan Black received 25.05 percent of the votes while Paschal got 74.70 percent. Some 3,672 total voters were cast.

Paschal has campaigned in favor of service to God and country and has spoken out against Critical Race Theory.

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“The voters of District 73 didn’t choose me because of the color of my skin,” Paschal said. “They got to know me. They saw a God-fearing man of integrity who values and defends our Constitution. But I do recognize the historical significance of what happened today. I hope to be an example to all Alabamians that the Republican Party is open to everyone who shares a belief in freedom, self-reliance, fiscal responsibility, and opportunity for all.”

Paschal is retired from the military following 21 years of service. He lives in Pelham and is very active in the community and serves on the Shelby County Republican Executive Committee.

“I’d also like to invite our supporters and all the people of District 73 to the swearing-in ceremony tomorrow at the Pelham Civic Complex,” Paschal said. “The event begins at noon. It’s free and open to the public. I’d love for people to come and bring their family. We will also have lunch provided after the event.”

Paschal retired from the U.S. Army in 2006 and moved to Shelby County. He is a past commander of the American Legion and a member of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.

State House District 73 includes portions of Alabaster, Calera, Chelsea, Helena, Montevallo, Pelham and unincorporated Brantleyville.

Paschal, like the rest of the Legislature, will have to face the voters next year in the regular general elections. The Republican primary is on May 24, 2022.

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

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