Democratic candidates for Alabama’s 2nd District share platforms

Published 8:42 pm Monday, February 17, 2020

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Candidates for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District visited the February meeting of the Pike County Democrats on Saturday to share their platforms with voters.

The two Democratic candidates for the seat are Nathan Mathis and Phyllis Harvey-Hall. The two candidates will be on the March 3 Democratic Primary ballot.

Mathis shared about his start in politics to his national fame.

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“I was the head of the Newton-Wicksburg Dixie Youth Baseball team and we had the first two black children to ever play Dixie Youth baseball,” Mathis said. “One team wouldn’t play us; they took their children and went home. I ran for chair of the Houston County Commission because of that and then hired the first black woman to work at the courthouse.”

Mathis also shared his previous experience in the Alabama legislature, where he served from 1982 to 1994. He told the audience that he believes the lottery should be put before the people to vote on and that he would work to protect social security.

The main reason he is running, Mathis said, is to help create agriculture bills as he has run his own peanut farm for decades.

“Your seat shouldn’t be bought by a bunch of rich folks, it should be about who will best serve you,” Mathis said.

Mathis gained national attention after posing with an anti-Roy Moore sign at one of Moore’s rallies in 2017.

Harvey-Hall shared her experience as an educator in the Montgomery Public Schools system for 25 years.

“The next generation is looking at us; what is the legacy we’re going to leave them?” Harvey-Hall said. “I’m in this race to support them in the dawn of their lives. When I started working with families and continuing to be involved in my neighborhoods, I saw that the representation was not serving the people in my neighborhood. We need good people in public spaces.”

Harvey-Hall said she has experience speaking with students, parents and business leaders in her role as an educator and since and that her passion is to engage wherever she sees a need.

Chris England, new Alabama Democratic Party chair, also visited the Pike County Party to share the state of the state party and the future of its direction.

After being elected, England said the party has worked to reflect inclusivity in its administration.

“Before I took office, there were eight people on the State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) under the age of 35. We added about 40 individuals under the age of 35. To grow the party we have to invest in the youth.”

England said minority caucuses were created to ensure they have a seat at the table as well.

Before the election, which was forced by the Democratic National Committee, England said the state party was dying, with no fundraising in years, little social media activity and few meeting. No candidates were being trained or supported, England said.

Since taking over, England said the party has focused on fundraising, much by simply asking people to give, and on social media. England said social media has led to fundraising as well, as it shows the party is active and worth investment.

England said the party now has the strength to begin “holding the Republican party accountable.”

“Without opposition, you are unaccountable,” England said. “Republicans have said they’re not in the mood to talk about Medicaid expansion; we aren’t letting that slide. If you’re not in the mood to talk about Medicaid expansion, you’re not in the mood to talk about rural hospitals or about decreasing the highest maternal mortality rate in the nation.”

England said the focus now is on creating infrastructure so that the party can continue to grow and become more reliable.