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…

9 thoughts on “Alabama State Senate District 7

  1. I am normally a big fan of Flashpoint, but I strongly differ when you describe Randy Hinshaw as a conservative. Hinshaw is defintely on the liberal side of the great divide in the Alabama legislature. Hinshaw has been a friend to gambling interests, among other positions he has taken.

  2. Reactionary knows Hinshaw better than I do (which isn’t really saying much) and has a higher opinion of him than I do.  Hinshaw REALLY rubbed me the wrong way both by voting other’s machines without their consent and by his response to it.

    I will say that if his position on gambling is what makes him a liberal then I may end up in that camp as well.  I oppose state run gambling operations (for monopoly reasons), but I don’t have a problem making gambling (or certain drugs for that matter) legal and taxing/regulating them appropriately.

  3. John – I guess what I said requires some parsing: “as Conservative on many issues as me”.  Hinshaw is pro-life, pro-punishment for crime, pro-traditional marriage. 

    Hinshaw also supports Free the Hops legislation, which is an important (but not critical) issue for me.

    As far as the voting machine – as far as I can tell he didn’t violate any legislative ethics (an oxymoron for most of them) – it just seems wrong to those with a bourgeois sense of what is ethical…

    IMO gambling should be legal, or illegal.  It makes no senseto have legalized dog tracks but no casinos or video poker or lottery.  Of course, it makes a lot of sense to those ‘gambling interests’ who have legislators like Hinshaw in their pockets (so to speak).

    I’m also with Brian on legalizing marijuana (if that’s the ‘certain drug’).  IMO it’s no worse than tobacco or alcohol.

  4. Reactionary, hinshaw, a democrat, voting someone else’s machine is wrong because that someone else (Bridges a republican) wouldn’t have voted “yes” for HB274.  Bridges states that he would have voted no.  If you don’t find anything ethically wrong with that then you must be drinking entirely too much hinshaw koolaid.

  5. philip – I like Koolaid, but you should look at the context of what I wrote before harshing on me:

    “My biggest problem with him… That and his ‘cheating fair and square’ by voting on another Representive’s machine…”

    “legislative ethics (an oxymoron…”

    “it just seems wrong to those with a bourgeois sense of what is ethical…” (including me, a ‘bourgeois’ reactionary)

    Maybe it’s just my lame attempt at humorous expression that’s unclear.  So to be clear, IMO Hinshaw voting on another’s machine was ethically wrong. The legislature has a different set of ethics where ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ seem to be irrelevant.

    BTW, I volunteered for Hinshaw’s opponent (Al Wiggins) in the last election.

  6. ok, sorry – you’re right, i read your post the other day and the comment today, forgot to go back and check the post where you call him out on the 2-year stuff, no koolaid for you…It just fires me up that he has, for all intents and purposes, gotten a pass on the voting deal -

  7. One thing I like about Hinshaw is that he’s a pretty strong partisan democrat in a swing type district. You have to admire that about any politician. He doesnt try to blur the lines like some other dems and gopers in swing seats do. As far as the GOP chances go. Look when you look at some of the wins the GOP have had here in the deep south in recent years. Theres not a seat out there they can’t win. The Cao win is the most recent example of that. But look what happened in Memphis three years ago. You had a white guy named Terry Roland come within four votes of winning a special election for a state senate seat in inner city Memphis. The district is over 90% black but he nearly won against a black democrat challenger. In reality he did win given the amount of dead people who miraculously rose from the grave and voted for his opponent that day but thats a story for another time. So if the GOP can do that in inner city Memphis then I see no reason why they can’t win this seat. One final bit and it concerns  a little trivia. If Mr Richardson wins this race in the end. He will join Mississippi State Senator Eric Powell(D-Iuka) as the only two black state senators in the recent history of the Tennessee Valley.

  8. I think we need to start thinking about the best man for the job. ROGER RICHARDSON has done a lot of work to improve the district.  Even before he decided to run for the State Senate. He has developed career programs and educational programs that will greatly help the people in our district.  We need some one like ROGER RICHARDSON because he has already proven himself.