CULLMAN, Ala. – At the Cullman County Republican Party’s monthly meeting Saturday, Chairman Steve Cummings reported a 40% voter turnout for last Tuesday’s primary election, with approximately 22,000 voting Republican and 2,500 voting Democrat. The Cullman County Probate Office reported a voter turnout of 40.63%, with 21,898 voting Republican and 2,556 voting Democrat. Those numbers may change only slightly when provisional ballots are counted this week.
Guests heard from several speakers including Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Beth Kellum and Cullman County Commission Chairman candidates, Chairman Kenneth Walker and challenger Jeff “Clem” Clemons.
“Because we handle appeals nationwide, we are one of the busiest courts per capita in the entire country,” said Kellum, who is seeking a third term. “It is not a place for on the job training. You have to know what you are doing from day one.”
According to Kellum, she has voted and reviewed 13,000 cases and written approximately 2,500 cases in her career on the court.
Kellum will face challenger Will Smith in the March 31 runoff for the Republican nomination for Place 2 on the five-member court. No Democrat is running for the position.
Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview gave an update on Montgomery.
Shedd sponsored HB400 (the Broadband Using Electric Easements Accessibility Act) last year; he said, “I think that’s going to give us an opportunity to transform our state with high-speed internet and broadband throughout our state.”
Last week, HB81 was passed in the House.
Shedd, who co-sponsored the bill said, “This bill gives judges more tools to prevent violent offenders and violent criminals to be released on bail.”
Shedd reported that 695 bills have been introduced this session. Only seven of those have become law. Shedd is working on legislation to establish a committee to address volunteer firefighters and volunteer medical responders.
He said, “This is crucial. Right now, trying to find a way to get more people to volunteer in these services will be good for you, me and all of us. Not only for the response and our property and health, but also our insurance premiums.”
Cullman’s legislative delegation has also been pushing for mental health reform.
“My part of that, I have been promoting for us to have three mental health crisis centers across the state and hopefully four before it’s over. One in the Huntsville area so that our law enforcement and family, as well, if you have a situation, there is a place to go rather than the jail or the emergency rooms,” Shedd explained.
This week, state lawmakers will address a hands-free bill which would make it illegal to hold any device while driving, a bill that would require electronic monitoring of violent offenders on work release and a bill on the fate of daylight saving time.
Clemons thanked everyone for their support in last Tuesday’s primary election.
“I try to keep my campaign positive. I want to focus on what I want to do to help the citizens of Cullman County,” he said. “I’m not running ‘against’ anyone, and I’ve been saying this all along.”
Walker also spoke and thanked everyone for their prayers and support.
“I made these cards up and I thought I was doing the right thing by saving money and putting extra money to the roads, but undoubtedly, that didn’t work,” said Walker. “I got my butt kicked, but I am fixing to get my butt to work. So, I am asking again for your prayers, your support and your vote.”
Colin Suddeth was at Saturday morning’s meeting representing U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville’s campaign. Cummings explained that efforts requesting the attendance of a representative from U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Sessions’ campaign were not successful. Suddeth said Tuberville will be making at least two more appearances in Cullman County prior to the March 31 runoff.
On Saturday, March 14 at Cullman Shooting Sports, Tuberville will stop by for a public meet and greet.
Suddeth explained, “I am still working on nailing down a time. It should be about midday in the afternoon.”
A private fundraising event is also planned for March 17 at Top of the Town in Cullman.
The Cullman County Republican Party is having a little fun ahead of the 2020 presidential election. The party is aiming for Cullman County to have the highest percentage of Donald J. Trump voters of any other county in the United States.
Cummings explained, “Cullman County, we voted 87.8% for Trump in 2016. That’s one of the highest in the country. The highest in the country was Winston County, our neighbors to the west. They had 90.1%. They have 24,000 and we have 84,000, so it takes a lot more to make up that difference.”
Cummings has created new Trump signs, available in English and Spanish, as a fundraiser.
The signs are available for $5 at Wilborn Outdoors, Liberty Tax and Integrity Auto Group.
“We want people to know we are a special community,” Cummings said.
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