May 31, 2018

On the Road

May 31st, 2018

Over the past year a collective group of statewide office seekers has been on the road. We’ve traveled to Double Springs, Enterprise, Dothan, Fairhope, Indian Springs, Birmingham, Montgomery, Millbrook, Huntsville, Hackleburg, Hamilton, Cullman, and all places in between.

Each of us has told our story about why we’re running for office and we’ve shared our hopes, dreams, and visions for Alabama.

We’ve listened to some really funny candidates, endured dry recitations, heard inspiring biblical verses, futuristic talks, and great speeches. Our backgrounds and perspectives are as diverse as our messages. When we’re not on the road, we’re lawyers, farmers, teachers, mayors, businessmen and community activists.

Throughout the thousands of road miles crisscrossing the state, I’ve come to know some great candidates. People who run because of their love for this state. People who have dedicated considerable time, effort and expense to reach the people of Alabama, to make a personal connection with voters, and to help them understand why they are deserving of the public’s trust and vote.

We kid each other that after the hundreds of meetings we’ve attended together that we could give each other’s speech. I’ll miss those folks as this election season ends. This nomadic tribe we have inadvertently formed has forged relationships we will carry with us post-election.

As a candidate for Governor, the campaign trail has been fun, tedious and hectic all at one time.

I tell everyone my job is to go out and make new friends every day. It has been rewarding to catch up with old friends from high school and college, to meet activists and leaders we’ve heard about for years, and to delight in an unexpected encounter with people at a coffee shop, gas station, or factory. I’ve been blessed to make new friends throughout this state. Those who have not been on the campaign trail have missed an important part of Alabama.

Our campaign has been in Bayou La Batre to look at shipbuilding and oyster farming. In Mobile we toured Austal Shipbuilding where Alabamians are building the most highly technical destroyer in the world. In Dothan we met with employees at International Beam, a company that is making laminated wood products that will challenge the steel industry. In Montgomery we talked downtown renewal with people at the Vintage Café.

In Birmingham we visited with the CEO of a modular company marketing revolutionary construction techniques. In Jasper we explored move-in ready warehouses for manufacturing and visited with the city’s first tier 1 automotive supplier, Yorozo.

In Muscle Shoals we talked to principals and school leaders about challenges to our education system caused by state programs. In Fort Payne we witnessed a revitalized economy as leaders proudly reviewed downtown investment strategies.

We have seen great places in Alabama, and we’ve seen the challenged parts, too. No matter where we go we meet dedicated people who are working to make their city, community and state a better place. Our goal is to get these people from all over the state moving in one direction. As governor, that is my promise; to work together to make Alabama better.

The state’s potential is obvious as we travel from place to place. Could assembly plants be turned into manufacturing? Could we advance emerging technologies in agriculture or propel Birmingham’s start-up banks into robust financial centers? Yes, I believe we can with the right leadership and a lot of good old fashion hard work.

Alabama is ready to compete on a worldwide platform. The people I have met are ready to step forward.

It’s time for a governor who will represent the best of Alabama. Let’s make this state great!