Republican gubernatorial candidate Dean Odle on Monday addressed approximately 40 members of the North Jefferson County Republican Party at a pizzeria and bar in Fultondale.
Odle is a pastor of a Church in Lee County, where he also leads a Christian school. Odle is an evangelist and church starter that has pastored churches in Africa, Washington D.C., and Alabama. He is challenging incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey in the 2022 gubernatorial Republican primary.
“You may not agree with all of my Christian beliefs,” Odle said. “But I am not running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention I am running for governor.”
Odle is an outspoken vaccine skeptic and he has made vaccine skepticism a central part of his campaign for governor of Alabama. Odle told the audience of over 40 Republicans, without evidence, that “over 6000 people died” after taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
“If you believe this mRNA technology does not rewrite your DNA you better wake up,” Odle said.
“13 and 15 year-olds have had heart attacks and pregnant women are having miscarriages,” after having the vaccination Odle alleged. “I and no one in my household will ever take the vaccine.”
“Kay Ivey says that you are stupid if you will not take a vaccine that has not been approved by the FDA, they are going to approve it because big pharma wants it,” Odle said. “She made a mistake when she said that.”
“The majority of the people of Alabama have elected not to take the vaccine,” Odle said. “I am a vaccine-injured person. I understand what is going on. If you want to take the vaccine take it. It is you choice, but it should never be forced on you and you should never lose a job because you would not take a vaccine.”
Expanding school choice is a major campaign issue for Odle as well.
“She has been governor for five years and in that time we have gone from 46th in reading and 48th in math to 50th in reading and 52 in math behind Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense schools system,” Odle said of Ivey’s education record. “We are dead last.”
“Florida was 29th in 2017,” Odle said. “Now they are third. They got rid of Common Core and they expanded their school choice and they expanded their school choice program. They are up to 56 percent of their families being eligible for vouchers under school choice. I want to go to 100 percent.”
“Then there is competition the bad schools go away and the good schools get better,” Odle said.
“I want the state government out of the education business because we have failed,” Odle said. “I don’t want to keep throwing money into the dumpster fire that is public education in Alabama.”
“The Montgomery politicians says lets keep throwing a little more money at it,” Odle said. “Right before campaign season lets increase the education budget and give the teachers a raise and that’s what they did. Throwing money in the same dumpster fire doesn’t change anything.”
“It is that control from the top down that has to be changed completely,” Odle said of public education. “There are 8 states including Mississippi that spend less per child than we do and they are all ranked ahead of us. We need to get rid of Common Core, get the state out of education, and go to school choice.”
“We are working with a former Trump advisor on a plan that is going to maximize our energy resources,” Odle said speaking on the economy.”
Ogle hoped to grow the economy in order to be able to cut taxes.
“I hate property taxes. Property taxes are the most unconstitutional tax there is,” Ogle said. “We are in competition with states around us like Florida that has no income tax.”
“I will pick up a rifle and go to the state line myself to stop those people from coming into our state to take our guns,” Odle said, emphasizing his pro-Second Amendment position.
Odle is challenging incumbent Ivey in the Republican primary, former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George is also running, while state Auditor Jim Zeigler has formed an exploratory committee to consider entering the 2022 gubernatorial race.
Odle followed another speaker who spoke on First Amendment issues.
The Republican primary will be May 24, 2022.