Conservative evangelist Scott Dawson campaigns in Cullman

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Conservative evangelist Scott Dawson is running for governor. /Andrew Cryer

CULLMAN – First-time candidate, author, evangelist and frequent guest on “The Rick and Bubba Show,” Scott Dawson, held a campaign event this week at Stone Bridge Farms. Dawson has his sights set on being Alabama’s next governor.

Addressing the crowd, Dawson said he wishes to “lead through a lens of a biblical worldview,” but admitted his campaign has caused his detractors to accuse him of trying to establish a theocracy.

Dawson addressed the controversy, saying, “You’re naïve if you think anyone sitting in that governor’s seat will not make decisions based on some type of authority in his or her life. I’m just willing to go out in front and say that’s going to be my decision-making process. This does not mean that there isn’t room for people of other faiths… there’s enough room in our state for all of us to do well.”   

The Republican has been in the ministry for 30 years, founding the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association in 1987, speaking to an estimated 100,000 people each year.

Dawson laid out portions of his still evolving platform, focusing on education reform, political reform and business development. Dawson says that his first executive action will be, “to mandate that the state board of education will not meet without the governor’s presence.” He said, “We can campaign on education, but you can’t lead by absenteeism.”

Dawson had bold words on term limits. Currently, the Alabama governor is limited to two consecutive terms but can run again after waiting at least one term; Dawson wishes to change that. “I don’t believe in career politicians. I believe that there are enough incredible people in the state of Alabama, 4.8 million of us, that there is enough opportunity for all of us to serve.” Specifically, he said three terms should be the maximum for one person. “If you can survive more than three terms, good luck to you,” said Dawson.

Dawson addressed voter recall in the state. “We’re an at-will state. If you’re not doing your job, you can be terminated. If you’re elected, what cause of action do we have?”

On business development and industry growth, Dawson believes the state needs institutional change to bring in the jobs that Alabama desperately needs. Said Dawson, “We’ve got to continue recruiting industry, but if we don’t do something about our roads, our education, industries will always bypass us for Georgia, South Carolina or Tennessee.  We’ve got to get our house in order.”

He continued, “I want to unleash the potential of Alabama businesses by leveling the playing field.”  Dawson noted, “When Alabama businesses grow and expand, they pay state taxes. Some international companies that are here don’t pay any taxes.”

Wrapping up the event, Dawson stated, “We’ve tapped into a nerve of Alabama… What if we rebounded and became the gold-standard by which the rest of the nation is measured? If we can change the mindset, we can do better. We deserve better, but it’s not going to happen unless we all work together.”

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