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Opinion | I’d vote for Anthony Daniels

Anthony Daniels has been here, doing the work, trying hard to make life better for Alabamians. That’s why I’d vote for him.

Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels
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I’m sure Shomari Figures is a fine human being. I’ve heard him speak. I know about his resume. I’ve seen the many, many, many, many mailers his campaign has sent to voters in the 2nd Congressional District. He seems like a good dude with a very nice family. 

But I don’t know him. And let’s be honest, neither do you. 

For the better part of Figures’ adult life, he’s been living in another state, removed from the daily problems and daily struggles of Alabama life. That doesn’t mean Figures is a bad guy or that his work hasn’t been important. It just hasn’t been here. 

Anthony Daniels has been here. 

When the Republicans who lead this state have attempted their many shenanigans over the last decade, it has been Daniels and his Democratic colleagues who have stood in the breach, battling – sometimes hopelessly – against the wishes of the elites and for the betterment of the working class. 

As the House Minority Leader, Daniels has been in the middle of every fight in this state since 2013. He’s helped raise millions for Democratic candidates. He’s aided campaigns. He’s fielded and trained candidates. He was instrumental in assisting new Rep. Marilyn Lands’ campaign, which garnered the first Democratic gain in the legislature in years and made national headlines. And he has proved time and again that serious, decent people can make a difference in Alabama politics. 

The Figures campaign has talked a lot about Daniels not residing in CD2, but his contributions to this state have certainly been felt there. With just his bill that removed taxes from overtime pay, he’s more positively affected the working class people of the district than any politician currently serving in this state. 

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Look, it’s no secret that I have long praised Daniels as one of the best elected officials in this state. I’ve written that. I’ve said it on the podcast I co-host. I’ve never shied away from it. 

But I didn’t write or say those things because I was paid to do so, or for any reason other than Daniels is a damn good elected official. He’s smart. He’s compassionate. He has good common sense. He understands the struggles of the working class folks he serves. 

It’s easy to be a left-winger and do nothing but attack businesses and business owners as greedy scum who are out to prey upon the working man. But that’s a purely political position that accomplishes little. 

The reality is most business owners are incredibly hard working people who have fought and struggled every day to open a business and keep it open. A handful of exceptions aside, most business owners, especially small business owners, respect their employees and try hard to do right by them. And those business owners, in turn, deserve respect and a break or two themselves. 

Just not more so than the working folks who make those bottom lines turn black. 

That balance – one that respects both sides of the owner-labor relationship – is why I like Daniels. The legislation he sponsors and the initiatives he backs do exactly that. 

Take the overtime tax repeal and his childcare incentive bill. Both bills offer great benefits to the workers that help with real expenses and put money into the pockets of people who need it the most. But they also offer great benefits to the businesses of this state. 

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I recall vividly when the OT tax repeal was being fought tooth and nail by some Republicans, one of the biggest boosts of support came from Austal, which noted the bill’s positive impact on the recruitment of employees from other states. 

There have been dozens of other examples of legislation that Daniels has sponsored or helped push over the years that had similarly positive effects on both workers and employers. And that’s in addition to working professionally within the legislature to either kill off many, many horrible, oppressive, offensive and downright racist pieces of legislation, or to include amendments and changes that lessen their impacts on real people (because sometimes, in a super-minority, that’s the best you can do). 

No one else in the race for CD2 has done these things. No one else in this race has this sort of track record. No one else in this race could you send to D.C. and know, without a single doubt, that they would deliver over and over again for the people in CD2. 

That’s why, if I lived in that district and could do so, I’d vote for Anthony Daniels on Tuesday.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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