While some other candidates are jumping into the race for the soon to be vacated seat in the Alabama House of Representatives, Montgomery County Board of Education member Heather Sellers is taking a different approach.
“Before I decide to run, I want to get 1,000 voter commitments and listen to their concerns,” Sellers said she told a local Republican group on Monday.
In a letter to the Central Alabama Republican Club, Sellers wrote that she may soon enter the District 74 race for the seat of Rep. Jay Love, a fellow Montgomery Republican. Love is stepping down Aug. 1 to pursue opportunities in education reform and in the private sector, but has not been more specific.
Sellers, who pointed out she has two children ages 11 and 14 in public schools, said she has “already heard from many voters who want to make improvements in education, crime, and job creation.” Sellers, who wrote that she wants to hear more before announcing her plans, did not specify a timeframe for her decision.
“After serving on the Montgomery County School Board for five years in the minority party, I have some ideas of how to improve education that can only be implemented by the Alabama Legislature,” she wrote.
Sellers wrote that she and friends will call voters personally “to see what they think,” wanting to start her campaign by focusing on the issues voters want addressed.
“If I announce for this campaign, I want to know what priorities the voters want addressed,” she said. “One of the biggest problems in Montgomery and Washington is when elected officials forget who is in charge – the voters. Unfortunately, many candidates don’t care what the voters think – some run just to hold a higher office.”
Former Montgomery County Board of Education President Charlotte Meadows, who currently works for the education reform group StudentsFirst, and Montgomery County Commissioner Dimitri Polizos, who also owns a restaurant in Montgomery, have announced they are running for the seat. Both are Republicans. State Rep. Joe Hubbard, a Montgomery Democrat, has said he is considering the race, but disagrees with some other officials on what district lines would be used for the race – the current lines or the ones redrawn for the 2014 election – and he does not live in the current district and would not meet residency requirements if those lines are used. His house is in the redrawn district, but a top official with the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office said this special election would be to finish Love’s term and would not be for the upcoming 2014 elections so the current lines would be used.
House District 74 currently encompasses most of central Montgomery north of Interstate 85 and south of Northern Boulevard. The new district lines add a large portion of eastern Montgomery and a swath of territory south of I-85 and extending down Vaughn Road.
Gov. Robert Bentley has not set a special election date, but has said he would like to call it as soon as legally possible.
– posted by Sebastian Kitchen