I’m a gun owner. I believe in protecting the 2nd Amendment. It is important to me for personal reasons but also because I recruited Remington Arms to our state where we not only bear firearms, we build them!
I believe in the sanctity of life. We must protect this precious gift from God at conception and eliminate abortions by providing better adoption opportunities for families and better access to alternate options for moms.
I firmly believe the lottery must go to a vote of the people. I see the lottery as a financial tool that, if approved, should be used to equitably benefit all Alabamians.
Budget reform is political talk for combining the state education budget with the general fund budget and that is not acceptable to me. Our education system is critically underfunded right now. Combining those budgets will only further cripple our efforts to improve education.
CRIME AND PUBLIC SAFETY
We need to provide law enforcement the funding and resources they need to protect our communities. Our highways must have more Troopers. Currently, Troopers are in vehicles that need critical maintenance and they’re spending their own money on their uniforms. That is ridiculous. Our law enforcement officers take great pride in their work. It is time for us to restore respect for their leadership and pride back into being in law enforcement.
I want to engage our law enforcement and judicial leaders to evaluate sentencing guidelines. We need to address who is entering our prisons and why. I want to institute rehabilitation efforts and job skills training so when these men and women re-enter communities, they are equipped with the skills needed to be productive members of society.
BREAK MONTGOMERY BUBBLE
If you have been in Montgomery 30 years you are part of the problem, not the solution. I have not been in Montgomery the last three decades, nor have I spent my days flying around on a jet for ribbon cuttings; however I have been a small business owner, and I am still to this day. I understand the issues facing our business community, and I understand that getting Montgomery off our backs, out of our pockets and eliminating government regulations will allow our business community to thrive.
As Mayor, I understand local issues facing our communities are solved best locally, not sitting in Montgomery. I have already visited Alabama’s 67 counties during my campaign, and that will not stop if elected. As your next governor, I will be in every county, every year.
For too long the great state of Alabama has been faced with corruption instead of opportunity, scandal instead of education and embarrassment instead of pride. I am tired of Alabama being first in political corruption and last in education. This is failed leadership.
Alabama is a great state, but the time has come for new leadership outside of Montgomery. No more insider protection, no more backroom deals. Our leaders have failed us. Politicians talk; leaders get things done. Join me in helping make Alabama a leader!
My wife Eula was an educator for more than 30 years. She co-founded Free 2 Teach, a non-profit dedicated to providing school supplies to thousands of teachers. Each teacher leaves the organization with an average of $505 in free classroom resources. I have spent many nights at the dinner table hearing first-hand accounts of how our state education system is failing our students, and restricting our teachers.
I saw the issues as Mayor. I addressed our challenges by working with our local educational leaders to hire a world-class superintendent, implement accountability and continue to stay focused on improvement. We have to create an environment that reduces the number of students in each classroom and most importantly, let teachers teach!
When first elected Mayor, I saw a problem with our Pre-K education system in Huntsville, and I set out to fix it. We didn’t wait on Montgomery to solve our problem. They are just now recognizing a strong start will lead to a strong finish. I have worked on this for ten years. My team had a successful Pre-K program without the State’s help, and we continue to operate our program today without any funding or assistance from the State.
We all want the best education for our children, and you should have the ability to put your child in a school that best fits his or her needs. One size does not fit all. Charter schools will work in some areas, but it is important that their funding does not come at the sacrifice of our public education system.
Jobs and industry come to a community that invests in itself, provides an educated and skilled workforce and has a plan for the future. Once your community lays that groundwork for success, you see the results. I was able to accomplish this in Huntsville, and the results speak for themselves; Polaris: 2,000 jobs, GE Aviation: 300 jobs, Remington: 2,000 jobs, and most recently Toyota-Mazda: 4,000 jobs.
I have successfully recruited over 24,000 new jobs to our area. 6 out of 10 jobs created in Alabama over the last decade have come out of my area, by my plan. Now, I’m ready to take this plan statewide. It’s time to create jobs and opportunity for all of Alabama.
Several years ago, I received a call from my son, Drew; “Dad, I’m coming home.” That was a great call to receive as a parent because I knew Eula and I would get to go to dinner with Drew and his family, watch ballgames, and play with our grandson. But, as Mayor, I realized that Drew was coming home to Huntsville and bringing his wife Lauren and his son, our grandson, to raise his family. Drew was choosing Huntsville because we had created an opportunity and quality of life that did not exist here before. Had we not taken on the issues of education, invested in roads and bridges and recruited jobs to our area, its likely I would never have received that call. We have a plan that works, we want to take that plan to Montgomery so those calls take place everyday, in every county across this State.
The roads and bridges of this State must become a priority investment for Alabama to succeed and continue to compete for international companies like Austal, Airbus, Mercedes, and Toyota-Mazda. I called on Montgomery to fix their state roads and they didn’t follow through on their responsibility. Therefore, we solved the problem. We built state roads, and we paid for them at that time. We didn’t push the burden off on future generations.
Workforce Development starts with education. It’s establishing career academies in our high schools, its providing more opportunities for dual enrollment, it’s getting our community college systems offering programs and training to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow. But it is also about supporting existing industry. We must continue to train a workforce that will allow that industry to grow, thrive and stay in your community!
RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
We must work to create jobs for residents in rural counties by targeting industries that locate in rural areas. The local communities must take an active leadership role by identifying Advantage Sites. I will create an economic development agency with a strategic plan to market to those companies while ensuring they have engaged community partners like electrical co-ops and community colleges. That will provide the resources and skills training for the residents to service those very jobs. The counties can then partner with the State to bring their projects to fruition.