Critical Choices: Republicans Running for House District 87

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Three republicans are battling it out on the June 1st primary to earn a spot on the ballot this November.

They’re all hoping to represent district 87 in the Alabama House.

District 87 covers all of Geneva County and a portion of western Houston County.

The three republican candidates are confident that they can "kick start" the economy.

"Jobs, jobs, jobs,”

A trio of candidates; all saying they have a vision to put the wiregrass to work.

“We've got a serious economic crisis facing us right now both locally and statewide and I think we've got to do something with incentives and as much as government can do working with private enterprise to bring back jobs to this economy,” said Rob Hinson, the current Mayor of Slocomb.

"Our region has not had a big industry to come in. And that's what we need to be looking at, is what we can do for the region,” said Donnie Chesteen, a longtime educator and coach in the wiregrass.

“Everybody likes to bag the big elephant and bring in the new company to town and we all want to do that it's just hard to come by, but I think the opportunity will be there,” said Lamar Brooks, president of Regions Bank in southeast Alabama.

All the men agree: creating and retaining jobs is the top priority.

"One thing I think that we need to do a better job of is reaching out to the businesses that are here now, to the industries that are here now. Let's secure those now, let's lock those down and see what we can do to help them keep their businesses here, keep their people employed,” said Chesteen.

“You have to look for ways to really incent existing businesses to create existing jobs,” said Brooks.

“We've got to think outside the box and look at what other states have done and what other areas have done,” said Hinson.

Jobs aside, what's your stance on electronic bingo?

“I think the people have the right and certainly deserve the right to vote,” said Brooks.

“If I was presented with a clean bill: ‘do you want this in our state or not’ I would be in favor of that to put that issue behind us once and for all,” said Hinson.

"I believe that the people should have the right to vote. That's just where it's at. It’s drug on now for a year,” said Chesteen.

The candidates have other issues important to them as well...like agriculture.

“We need to do more for our farmers. They provide everything that we need from our food. And the more that we can do to help them in the area to stay in business - we need to keep producing our food here in this country,” said Chesteen.

Funding for education…

“I think we have to have a favorable funding source that will always be stable to some degree. I’m certainly not in favor of adding any tax anywhere but we have to look at some ideas to make sure the funding is more stable than what it is now,” said Brooks.

And steering clear of the recently passed federal health care bill.

“I would certainly join any effort in fighting Alabama’s mandatory participation in that program,” said Hinson.

The former mayor of Slocomb Vicki Moore is running as a democrat to represent district 87.

She's running unopposed as a democrat so she won't be on the June ballot but she will be on the ballot in the November general election.

Again, voters will head to the polls on June first, that's this coming Tuesday.


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