Me and a couple of hundred fellow travellers attended the Madison County Republican Club breakfast Saturday morning. The speakers were area State House Representatives who gave (very) short speeches announcing their committee assignments. Here’s an even shorter summary of their remarks:
Wayne Johnson (22) is on the Judiciary and Public Safety committees – “right down the line of work I’ve been doing most of my life”. “We passed ethics laws – I’m proud to be a Republican”.
Jim Patterson (21) is on the Industrial Recruitment and Tourism committees, as well as the Health Board – after “29 years as a pharmaceutical representative” he’ll work for “better care and hold costs down”. “We’ve got a bright future”.
Phil Williams (6) is on the new Research and Technology committee, plus the Education Policy and Appropriations (Higher Education) committees. “Things are going to get better”.
Mac McCutcheon (25) is on the Transportation and Ways and Means General Fund committees. “I’ve been beat up, shot at, and had two children, but passing ethics reform was probably the toughest thing in my life”.
Howard Sanderford (20) is on the Boards and Committees committee, where he can “straighten out some State agencies”. “There’s a new day in Montgomery”.
In addition to the speakers, many elected officials attended the breakfast – eager to discuss issues with their constituents, including State Senator Clay Scofield, Judge Dick Richardson, newly-appointed County Commissioner Phil Riddick, County Clerk Jane Smith, and County School Board member David Vess. Non-partisan attendees included Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Deputy Mayor Rex Reynolds, and School Board member David Blair. Future Judges (IMO) Assistant District Attorney Don Rizzardi and Sam Givhan attended. Former Congressman Parker Griffith is a regular attendee at the meetings – it will be interesting to see what role he develops for himself in local GOP politics.
I’ve seen Alabama A&M’s Wendy Kobler (VP for Marketing) at several GOP events, usually with other AAMU leaders. IMO getting to know local officials is a smart move by AAMU.
Congratulations to Clinton Carter, who accepted a position with the Bentley administration. Carter led the Huntsville Governors Forum effort last Spring and is (soon-to-be was) the President of the Young Republicans.
After speaking with School Board member David Blair I’m reassured that Huntsville City Schools will emerge from the current crisis stronger than they are now. Blair plans to cut staff before cutting teachers, develop “objective” merit-based policies for keeping teachers (using student testing performance trends, credentials, &c), and look at creative ways to reduce personnel costs (like using inmates to cut grass).