December 13, 2017

Battle Blog: Standing On Our Own Record

We’ve had some busy weeks on the campaign trail and I’m glad people are following our progress.

When we go around and stop at places, people are coming up and saying, “Golly, man, you are really moving around.” When we’ve been in Eva or Dothan or Montgomery, they tell me they’ve been reading about where we’ve been.

We’ve already done one circle around the state and we’re halfway through making another one. By the time the campaign ends, we’ll make four trips around Alabama. It’s been real gratifying, the number of people who want to come out and meet us and hear our vision for the future of Alabama.

We’ve gone through a lot of controversy and ill-will in this expensive special election for the U.S. Senate seat that Gov. Ivey rescheduled from the original date of next June. Because of that campaign, one thing that’s been evident to us on our visits is that the people of Alabama want their candidate for governor to stand on their own record, to have experience in leadership, to put Alabama in a positive light nationally.

They’re tired of the politics as usual of nasty commercials. That’s why we’ve said all along we’re running for governor – not against somebody else.

And as for those visits…

We’ve been back to Dothan, where we always have such a good reception. We were in Montgomery, Greenville and Wetumpka, Pell City, Eva and Anniston – and a whole lot of places in between.

We were in Auburn the day after the Iron Bowl, and it was the “Happiest Village on the Plains,” as well as the loveliest village. We visited with President Leath at Auburn, then some bankers and attorneys in Opelika, then toured a high-tech company near the Alabama-Georgia line.

The next day we were in Ashland, in Clay County. We went to the Wellborn Cabinet factory. I was expecting a small operation and was really blown away. There were almost 800,000 square feet under one roof, and they go from bringing in trees right off the farm, cutting them, putting the wood in kilns and then turning out beautiful cabinets. It was one of the most amazing vertical integration systems I’ve seen in a long time.

We had a good gathering in Eva – a big meeting in a small town. Some Eva trivia for you: There are a lot of people named Holmes and Childers in Eva, more than Joneses and Smiths.

I was asked to speak to the Guntersville Rotary Club on Monday, when it was so sunny and warm. The meeting was at Gunter’s Landing, and it kinda made me wish I had brought my golf clubs!

In Montgomery, we had a good meeting with the Alabama Farmers Federation. It has more than 360,000 members, and that’s a reminder of what a strong foundation that agriculture plays in our state. We focus a lot on new business and our high-tech companies, but those farmers who roll up their sleeves and whose work days are half-finished before a lot of us even have our second cup of coffee are deserving of our praise and thanks.

I look back at all those recent trips and realize what a whirlwind it’s been, but it’s been fun and gratifying. I’m looking forward to continuing this second circle around Alabama, and hope I’ll get to say hello to you somewhere along the journey.