Republicans turn out for rally (STRAW POLL RESULTS)Published 11:00pm Monday, May 19, 2014
The Pike County Republican Party gave voters a chance to get to know the politicians who represent them and the Republican candidates who want to represent them at Monday’s rally at Cattlemen’s Park.
“We need people to come out and get informed so they can make informed decisions,” said Virginia Sanders, a member of Pike County Republican Women. “When you put a face to the name, you make that connection.”
About 250 people made the connection. They heard from Governor Robert Bentley, Attorney General Luther Strange and Troy Towns, director of the Alabama Republican Party’s Minority Outreach.
Bentley encouraged guests to drum up more voters.
“We’ve got some great candidates,” he said. “We’ve got to get the people out to vote.”
When he took office, Bentley said he inherited an $8 billion budget and, with the hard work of state legislators, saved taxpayers $1.1 billion.
Employment is still the Governor’s focus. He told the audience he would do everything he could to help independent and small businesses. He also cited jobs he had created in some of the poorest counties in the nation.
“My philosophy is this: If you educate the people of this state and you give them an opportunity for a job, they will not be on welfare,” Bentley said. “Help people help themselves.”
Bentley said the only people left to stand up to federal government are the nation’s governors. “This is the people’s office. I work for y’all.”
Strange likes to tell people he has the best job there is.
“I get to go to work every day and think of ways to sue President Obama,” he said.
Like other politicians, Strange said he took an oath to uphold the law. Now, he wishes other politicians remembered the oath they took. Strange chose to keep his remarks brief because he was not up for reelection this year.
Alabama has 12 black people on the Republican ballot, more than any other state. Towns is often asked why that is. He said it is because black people are starting to vote their values.
Towns shared the four things Republicans had to do to keep the country great. Voting your values was at the top of the list.
Second on the list was to keep God as number one. “What I mean by that is … when we are looking at our policies, not to be afraid of looking at the wisdom of God,” he said.
Towns took issue with gay marriage. Third on his list was to uphold the “original blueprint” of a family. “We’ve got to uphold traditional marriage.”
When Towns speaks to minority groups, he likens Democrats with socialists.
“Socialism is synonymous with slavery. The bigger government gets, the more rights you lose,” he said.
State Senator Jimmy Holley addressed the crowd. He said he has considered Pike County his second home for the last 40 years. When legislators started looking at redrawing districts, Holley asked constituents in Central Alabama what they wanted. He said Pike County had two requests: voters wanted the whole county to be in the same district and they wanted to be grouped with wiregrass counties. Holley was happy to represent Pike County and uphold the wishes of his constituents.
The Republican Party chalked the rally up as a success.
“We’re pleased and thankful for the response folks of Pike County have had,” said Probate Judge Wes Allen.
The event included a straw poll.
119 for Robert Bentley
1 for Stacy Lee George
0 for Bob Starkey
For Lieutenant Governor
33 for Stan Cooke
90 for Kay Ivey
For Secretary of State
39 for Reese McKinney
26 for John Merrill
63 for Jim Perdue
For State Auditor
8 for Dale Peterson
27 for Hobbie L. Sealy
42 for Adam Thompson
35 for Jim Ziegler
For Public Service Commission, Place 1
79 for Jeremy H. Oden
26 for Kathy Peterson
For Public Service Commission, Place 2
45 for Jonathan Barbee
27 for Chris “Chip” Baker, Jr.
10 for Phillip Brown
18 for Terry Dunn