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AFA makes endorsements in House races

The association announced 10 endorsements ahead of the upcoming General Election.

The Alabama Forestry Association logo

The Alabama Forestry Association (AFA) has announced its support of a new batch of candidates for the Alabama House of Representatives.

The association is lending it’s support to Ernie Yarbrough, David Cole, Leigh Hulsey, James Lomax, Mike Kirkland, Phillip Rigsby, Mark Gidley, Evan Jackson, Chad Robertson and Fred Kelley.

Ernie Yarbrough – District 7

Yarbrough is running for House District 7, which covers all of Lawrence County and part of Colbert and Morgan Counties. Yarbrough is originally from Lawrence County and now lives in Trinity, in Morgan County, with his wife, Myra, and their four kids. Yarbrough is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Huntsville with an electrical engineering degree. He is self-employed owning his own software development company that develops software for American businesses.

“I am so honored to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association,” Yarbrough said. “As a lifelong resident of Alabama, I love her outdoor nature and look forward to working with this conservative and valuable association to preserve and promote Alabama the beautiful.”

David Cole – District 10

Cole is running as the Republican candidate for House District 10, which covers a portion of Madison County. He is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army where he served as a surgeon for 22 years including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Cole was awarded three Bronze Stars and an Air Medal for his service. He is a graduate of Arkansas State University and earned his Doctorate Degree in Medical Services from the University of Arkansas. He and his wife, Melanie, have three children and live in Madison.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association,” Cole said. “As an avid outdoor person, this association protects one of the state’s largest natural industries and is a great example of how Alabama is capable of resource conservation and business mindedness. As member of the State House of Representatives, I will work to promote a positive business climate statewide for the nation to see. I look forward to working with the Alabama Forestry Association.”

Leigh Hulsey – District 15

Hulsey is running for House District 15 which covers parts of Jefferson and Shelby Counties. She currently serves as a member of the Helena City Council and is the owner of CrossFit Alabaster and Henley Developments, LLC. Hulsey is a leader in many organizations, serving as the president of the Alabaster Business Alliance, the vice president of campaigns for the Republican Women of North Shelby County and executive committee member of the Shelby County GOP. She and her husband, Dennis, have three children and live in Helena.

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“As a Christian conservative, I look forward to working with the great men and women of the Alabama Forestry Association as the next conservative Republican State Representative from District 15,” Hulsey said. “I’m honored to receive the support and endorsement of Forest PAC. Together we will help create quality jobs while stopping government overreach and eliminating red tape.”

James Lomax – District 20

Lomax is running to represent House District 20 which covers part of Madison County. He lives in South Huntsville with his wife, Elizabeth. Lomax is the Director of Asset Management and Leasing for a Real Estate Investment Trust in Huntsville. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama at Huntsville and earned his master’s degree from the College of Leadership and Public Service at Lipscomb University.

“It is an honor to be endorsed by the Alabama Forestry Association,” Lomax said. “The Timber industry is vital to Alabama’s economy. In the Alabama State Legislature, I will work to protect industries from government overreach and burdensome regulations. Keeping our economy moving and creating a business friendly environment is one of my top priorities. I am looking forward to serving the people of our state and working with the Alabama Forestry Association.”

Mike Kirkland – District 23

Kirkland is running to represent House District 23 which covers most of Jackson County. He was born and raised in Jackson County and still lives in Scottsboro with his wife, Pamela, and their children and grandchildren. Kirkland is has been an employee with Vulcan Materials for 34 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Athens State University and his master’s degree from University of North Alabama.

“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association,” Kirkland said. “As a State Representative I will keep our economy moving forward and will work for the people of my district and state. The forestry and timber industry is one of the major economic components that keeps jobs in Alabama and our economy moving in the right direction.”

Phillip Rigsby – District 25

Rigsby is running to represent House District 25 which covers parts of Madison and Limestone Counties. He is a lifelong resident of Huntsville. Rigsby graduated from Auburn University with a Doctor of Pharmacy in 2000. He returned to Huntsville and began working at Kroger Pharmacy. He later went to work at Huntsville Compounding Pharmacy and The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, which he now owns and works at both locations. Rigsby and his wife, Pamela, have two sons.

“It is an honor to be endorsed by the Alabama Forestry Association,” Rigsby said. “The timber and logging industry play a key role in our economy. As a small business owner I know how important it is to create a business friendly environment. When elected I will protect our 2nd Amendment rights and fight government mandates on industries and businesses.”

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Mark Gidley – District 29

Gidley is running to represent House District 29 which covers parts of Etowah and Calhoun Counties. He is a lifelong resident of Etowah County, currently residing in Hokes Bluff. He holds a master’s degree from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary and serves as the Pastor of Faith Worship Center in Glencoe. Gidley previously worked in the insurance industry for 21 years in sales and management. He and his wife, Kathy, have two daughters and four grandchildren.

“I am honored to be endorsed by the Alabama Forestry Association,” Gidley said. “Our forests in Alabama are one of our greatest natural resources; a source of renewable energy and is vital to building our homes, providing essentials, and Workforce Development. Protecting our natural resources is imperative to preserving our future, and I am looking forward with anticipation to working with the AFA to help support their efforts in each of these, as well as many other, areas.”

Evan Jackson – District 32

Jackson is running to represent House District 32 which covers parts of Talladega and Calhoun Counties. He is from the rural town of White Plains in Calhoun County. Jackson graduated from Jacksonville State University with a degree in finance and political science. He is now an insurance agent for Leavitt Group in Anniston. Jackson has worked for the Leavitt Group for 10 years now and is a risk management consultant.

“I’m proud to have the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association,” Jackson said. “I’m running a positive campaign focused on being an effective representative for all parts of District 32. We need good, honest government that serves the people. I know the Forestry Association has long championed good government and advocated for the principle of limited government. I’m proud to have them supporting my campaign.”

Chad Robertson – District 40

Robertson is running to represent House District 40 which covers Cleburne County and part of Calhoun County. He is a United States Navy Veteran and is now the executive director of the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce. Robertson and his wife, Laura, own Heflin Fitness and Lineville Fitness. They have three children.

“I am honored to receive this endorsement,” Robertson said. “The impact that the men and women of the forestry industry make on our economy and our state as a whole cannot be overestimated.”

Fred Kelley – District 68

Kelley is running to represent House District 68 which covers parts of Monroe, Clarke, Conecuh, Marengo, Wilcox and Perry Counties. He has worked as the Director of Marketing for South Alabama Gas for 30 years. Kelley is a commercial pilot for Pilots for Christ and serves on the board for the Monroeville/Monroe County Economic Development Authority. He and his wife Teresa are foster parents with Monroe County DHR. Kelley founded “Pedalin for a Cure” which is a bicycle ride to the Battleship Alabama that raised over a million dollars for the American Cancer Society.

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“It is with great respect and honor that I accept the Alabama Forestry Association’s endorsement for Alabama House District 68,” Kelley said. “As a young boy, I walked down the dusty dirt road in front of our home in Clarke County. Along the way I passed several ‘Tree Farm’ signs. My father, a World War II Army veteran told me, ‘If you take care of these pine trees, they will take care of you.’ Well Dad, it’s my turn to do just that. I pledge my full support to the AFA and will advocate for their efforts to promote the timber and logging industry in Alabama.”

These candidates are seeking the election of their seats for the Alabama House of

Representatives in the General Election on November 8, 2022.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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