Candidate forum

U.S. Senate candidate Bradley Byrne talks with 2nd District Congressional candidate Jeff Coleman (left) and Alabama Supreme Court candidate Cam Ward before a Jan. 27 candidate forum at Wiregrass Rehabilitation.

Many Republicans on the ballot for the March 3 primary were present in Dothan on Jan. 27 to meet potential voters and tell people why they were worthy of inheriting important governmental positions.

Each candidate had four minutes to relay personal information, key messages to their campaigns, and issues they feel are most pressing to address if they make it to the Capitol.

There was a prevalent theme in the forum as each candidate touted their staunch support to President Donald Trump, conservative values of faith and family, and strong disgust for the stench of socialism.

Bob Rogers labeled himself as a “Trump conservative,” Jeff Coleman said he was “just like President Trump,” and many referenced common Trump-isms like draining the swamp and making America great again.

Those with previous careers in politics, like Troy King, pointed to their voting record as evidence of their loyalty to conservative values, and those without political backgrounds like Jeff Coleman and Stanley Adair labeled themselves “outsiders.”

Below are some highlights of each congressional candidate’s platform as they professed at the Jan. 27 forum:

U.S. Senate Candidates

Stanley Adair is a north Alabama businessman who disavowed special-interest groups and career politicians and praised President Trump for implementing foreign tariffs on imports.

“Look, folks, it’s time for real change, and if you’ll vote a businessman in office, you’ll see real change, because they understand the principles of running a business,” Adair said.

Congressman Bradley Byrne said he has proudly voted 97% of the time with President Trump in Washington and discussed one of his accomplishments — barging into the House of Representatives chambers to interrupt an impeachment hearing.

“What you want is someone who is going to fight for you,” Byrne said. “I know that we’re going to continue to make America great again. I need your vote so I can get back up in Washington and help President Trump and the U.S. Senate.”

U.S. House of Representatives 2nd District Candidates

Thomas Brown said, if elected, he would be the youngest Republican in Congress.

“I believe that someone needs to stand up for my generation,” Brown said, saying his primary issue would be to fight back against wasteful spending driving the nation into a growing deficit.

Coleman, a Dothan businessman, said his platform consists of four things: economic development, strong military, agriculture, and infrastructure.

He spent much of his time addressing attacks from another candidate — Jessica Taylor — about a 2012 U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against his company, Coleman Worldwide Moving.

Terri Hasdorff, a Montgomery native, said one of the greatest threats to the American way of life is the rise of socialism.

“It is incredible to me to think about how this is the absolute opposite of what makes America great,” Hasdorff said. “I’m not going to stand for it.”

King chastised Congress for trying to remove Trump from office without a vote and pointed to his record passing the “Stand Your Ground” law.

“I’m running for Congress because I’m fed up, and if you’re fed up, you can do something about it,” King said. “You can take a stand with me.”

Barry Moore told audience members to remember four things from his platform: freedom, finance, faith, and family.

“After my first year in the Alabama Legislature, I was labeled the most dependable conservative vote, so I have a track record,” he said.

Rogers said it’s time for decisive action in Washington.

“There’s a few things we need to do,” he said, including repealing the most encroaching law, the Affordable Care Act, without finding another law to replace it.

Taylor said she wanted to go to Washington to stand up for life, protect the Second Amendment, build the wall, drain the swamp, and support veterans.

She also attacked Coleman on his claims that he has no knowledge of wrongdoing within his company that attracted the Department of Justice lawsuit.

“We need answers,” she said, asking him to unseal legal documents with details around the lawsuit.

With Martha Roby leaving her seat as U.S. representative for 15 southeastern Alabama counties, District 2’s congressional seat has attracted a fierce contest among seven Republicans vying for the public’s favor. Southeast Alabama historically votes red, so whoever wins the Republican primary election in March will likely be the sole public servant dedicated to representing the Wiregrass’ interests in the U.S. House.

Government Oversight, a government notebook compiled by reporter Sable Riley, appears on Mondays in the Dothan Eagle and at DothanEagle.com.

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