Alabama State Senate District 7

The race to replace Parker Griffith (D – AL05 – elect) in the State Senate is getting crowded.  The Primary Election will be held March 3, 2009 and the General Election will be held June 9.

There are four Republicans running for the seat: Paul Sanford, Roger Richardson, Sam Givhan, and Alan Rhodes.  Attorney Mary Scott Hunter might be seriously thinking about running as well.

Paul Sanford runs Little Paul’s restaurant next to Huntsville Hospital.  Roger Richardson is an Urban Economic Development Specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension at Alabama A&M University and a Minister.  I’ve met both of these guys and like what I see so far.  Sam Givhan is an attorney – I haven’t spoken with him yet.  I don’t know Alan Rhodes either. 

I hear that Sanford has hired consultant Jack Campbell for his campaign.  Richardson really seems to have hit the ground running following his recent announcement – he’s got a nice campaign web site up, flyers printed, and yard signs (I love yard signs!).  I’m looking forward to a good clean race – I hope we don’t see a Harri Anne Smith / Jay Love style mess up here.

There are also at least three Democrats mentioned as possible candidates: State Representative Laura Hall (District 19), State Representative Randy Hinshaw (District 21), and Steve Raby.

IMO, Hinshaw would be the front-runner should he decide to run. He’s a fundamentally good guy who is as Conservative on many issues as me. He’s also survived all attacks – political and personal - and has built up some immunity there.  My biggest problem with him is that he works for the two-year college system somewhere around Auburn, which seems like an awfully long commute (IIRC he was cleared of any wrongdoing). That and his ‘cheating fair and square’ by voting on another Representive’s machine when the guy was out of town. But this stuff doesn’t seem to stick – so he has to be beat on issues – I hope our side figures that out…

Marsha Blackburn

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) spoke at the Madison County GOP this morning, on the topic of leadership.  Her district runs East – West from Brentwood / Nashville to suburban Memphis, and North - South from Clarksville (KY line) to Pickwick Lake (AL / MS line).  She has risen rapidly through the GOP ranks and is an influential Member of Congress despite her juniority – she was rumored to be on McCain’s long list for Vice-President and is on the short list for Tennessee Governor or Senator.  She serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Blackburn’s philosophy of Life and Government focuses on Faith, Family, Freedom, Hope, and Opportunity.  She highlighted five policy areas where she expects sharp differences with the Democratic President and Congress: Transportation and Infrastructure; Taxation; Science, Technology, and Innovation; Health Care; and Trade. 

I noticed during her speech that Blackburn likes lists, and even better, she seems to like five item lists (five is a magic number for communications – five by five means strong signal and perfect clarity). 

On Taxation, she offered her husband’s insight that ”if 10% is good enough for God, then it ought to be good enough for the Government”.  She noted that socialized health care results in rationing of health care.

Blackburn also spoke about the Tennessee GOP winning the State Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction – and said that leadership was the key:

“Leadership is not as it appears, but as it performs”.

“Leaders raise up other leaders”.