Campaign Updates

Our endorsements in Tuesday’s general election: opinion

Posted on October 31st, 2014

Source: AL.com

The Press-Register and AL.com’s Mobile Editorial Board offers the following recommendations in contested races for the Nov. 4, 2014, general election.

CONGRESS

U.S. House, District 1: Bradley Byrne (R) over Burton R. LeFlore (D)

Byrne’s service on the state Board of Education, in the state Senate and as head of Alabama’s two-year college system gives him the political know-how and experience to continue to represent District 1 in Congress. In his first year after filling the seat vacated by Jo Bonner, Byrne supported bipartisan legislation to amend the National Flood Insurance Program to keep rates for beleaguered homeowners from rising so drastically, recognizing a major problem here in coastal Alabama. We support his plan to serve District 1 for a full first term and also continue to keep Mobile and Baldwin projects — from the Interstate 10/Mobile River bridge to national defense shipbuilding contracts — in the public spotlight.

LEGISLATURE

State Senate, District 22: Greg Albritton (R) over Susan Smith (D)

Albritton, a Conecuh County lawyer, has his finger on the pulse of District 22 and knows the strengths and weaknesses of the large rural area, which has struggled to recover from the recession. He also rightly recognizes that the GOP went too far on some issues after coming to power in 2010. Albritton should strive to represent residents and communities of the entire eight-county district.

State Senate, District 32: Trip Pittman (R) over Kimberly McCuiston (I)

Pittman’s leadership on key legislative issues – responsible budgeting and homeowners insurance – make him deserving of a second full term. His steady hand will be needed to help solve the state’s serious budget crisis when the Legislature convenes in March.

State Senate, District 35: Bill Hightower (R) over Beau Doolittle (D)

Elected last year, Hightower seems to have a good grasp on one of the most pressing issues facing coastal Alabamians: homeowner insurance. He is willing to explore reforms seen in Florida, possibly using BP fines and settlement money to pay for them. Although this is his first stint in public office, Hightower has a background in real estate and international business that could strengthen his role in representing District 35.

State House of Representatives, District 98: Napoleon Bracy Jr. (D) over Wayne E. Biggs (R) and Darren Flott (I)

Bracy’s role as the able chairman of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus raises the Mobile area’s profile in Montgomery. But Bracy, a lifelong Prichard resident, has also demonstrated leadership here at home by pressing for solutions to Prichard’s high water rates and, more recently, by quietly but effectively serving the community in the aftermath of the death of 8-year-old Hiawayi Robinson. We believe he deserves another term to carry on that leadership.

State House of Representatives, District 103: Ralph Carmichael (R) over Barbara Drummond (D)

Carmichael, who has worked for Ford Motor Co. and Mobile-built QMS, has the potential to be an able representative for District 103, which was formerly led by Joseph Mitchell. He rightly understands the need for insurance reform, job creation and better schools.

COUNTY

District Court judge, Baldwin County, Place 1: Michelle Thomason (R) over Ginger Poynter (I)

Thomason’s eight years on the bench as well as experience as presiding Baldwin County District Court judge make her qualified to continue in that judicial position. She demonstrates a sense of fairness, compassion and initiative – seen in her choice to handle family court cases – that make her especially suited to the job. She should continue to serve with leadership and integrity both at home and in state-level organizations that make our court systems better.

REFERENDUM

Special County Election, Mobile County: Yes.

This Mobile County constitutional amendment would approve the popular Pay-As-You-Go program for the 15th time. The program is set to upgrade 94 miles of roadway, including the reconstruction of bridges over Carls Creek in Bayou La Batre and Big Creek in west Mobile County. Its best feature is the financing: Improvements are paid for by funds collected in advance of each project, without new taxes or borrowed money.

For more information:

Mobile County: http://probate.mobilecountyal.gov/elections.asp

Baldwin County: http://www.co.baldwin.al.us/Pageview.asp?edit_id=35

Alabama Secretary of State’s Office: 1-800-274-8683 orhttp://www.sos.state.al.us/elections/