Growing up on a farm in rural Alabama, Jennifer Fidler never anticipated she would wind up in the state legislature.
“I’m proud to live in the US where a farm girl that grew up first-generation college can work and decide that they want to get out make a difference,” Fidler said. “I’m particularly proud I’m able to do that, and we’ve got to protect those freedoms for future generations. It’s the American dream.”
Fidler unseated incumbent Rep. Joe Faust with more than 63 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.
“I retired in 2018, and part of my retirement plan was I wanted to work, but not full-time like I did before,” Fidler said. “I wanted to handle my investments, do things I haven’t been able to do before. I love projects. I like to see things from start to finish. One of the things I decided to do was start watching was what going on politically to know how to move investments and things around. … I thought people in my district were thinking about things in probably the same light I was, not always the exact same light Rep. Faust saw them in.”
Fidler said when she went knocking doors, she found that about 25 percent of people she talked to were independent.
She said the main concern of voters including Democrats, independents and Libertarians was “the direction of the country.”
“They were also concerned about our growth and if we had the infrastructure to maintain it,” Fidler said. “Schools, sewer, water, roads– we’re so much more crowded now. (We’ve had about) 48 percent of the state’s growth, we’re bursting at the seams the past 5 or 6 years. This is what the people are concerned about and it matched what I was concerned about.”
Fidler brings a varied background to the table as a legislator, with a strong concentration in horticulture. She earned her college degree in horticulture and landscape design and became the first horticulturist for the City of Eufaula, where she served more than eight years before becoming the public works director for the City of Fairhope for 16 years.
During her career, Fidler also served at times as president Alabama Urban Forestry Association board and the Public Works Association board.
She also attained a degree in theology from Faith Bible Institute and a master’s degree from Troy University in education.
Fidler retired in 2018 and started her own consulting business and owns a restaurant with her husband, Willie T’s in Roberstdale.
As a farm girl, Fidler said she wants to help farmers any way she can, including possibly serving on the agriculture committee.
Fidler said she printed out a list of all the Legislature committees and went down and starred the ones that she would like to serve on or thought she could be helpful on— then she went back and double-starred the ones that really stood out.
“Another committee I thought I would be useful on is rural development committee,” noting the was on the Fairhope Planning Commission for 10 years while the population grew from 13,000 to 23,000. “I feel like I know the tools small communities can use to get to be a place people want to live, stay and have that quality of life. I’d like to help in that statewide capacity.”
Fidler said she felt she could also be useful int he city and county government committee and is interested in the constitution and elections committees.