Chesteen launches campaign for Alabama Senate

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Dothan (WTVY)-- State Representative Donnie Chesteen launched his campaign for the Alabama Senate Thursday before a standing room only crowd in Dothan.

Rep. Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva) formally announces his candidacy for the Alabama Senate on November 2, 2017.

“We want to work and bring good paying jobs to people in this district,” the Republican lawmaker from Geneva said.

Chesteen, who has served in the House seven years, considers his biggest accomplishment the transformation of a National Guard Armory in his hometown into a career technical center. It provides training for students who don’t attend college.

Chesteen believes specialized education is vital to economic growth. “It’s a lot of small jobs that come in that really make a difference. We’ll take the big industry but small business is the backbone of our economy.”

After contemplating a run for the seat now held by Senator Harri Anne Smith (I-Slocomb) Chesteen decided in March it’s something he wants to pursue. “I’m not running against anyone but my job is to run for the Republican nomination.”

“I want to be part of a team that makes (District 29) better,” he said. If elected, Chesteen would serve with 34 other lawmakers compared to 104 in the House.

He currently serves on the prestigious Education Ways and Means Committee. In 2016, Chesteen spearheaded a successful effort to provide all public schools in Alabama with wireless internet.

He has no announced opposition in the Republican primary set for next June. Smith, a 19-year Senate veteran, hasn’t indicated whether she’ll seek re-election.

Assuming she does, and if Chesteen is victorious in the primary, the two would meet in the November, 2018 general election.