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AL-5 hopeful Paul Sanford endorsed by Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association

Tuesday, the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association (ARHA) announced its endorsement of Paul Sanford in his bid for Alabama’s open fifth congressional district seat.

Sanford cut his teeth working in the hospitality industry as his family has owned numerous prominent North Alabama restaurants throughout the decades, such as Big Bob Gibson’s, Gibson’s Barbecue and Little Paul’s Barbecue. His family has been in the industry for nearly a century.

Sanford is a classically-trained chef and obtained a culinary degree from the Culinary Institute of America. Sanford and his wife would go on to open their own restaurant, Little Paul’s Barbecue, serving the Huntsville community.

In announcing the association’s endorsement of Sanford, ARHA president and CEO Mindy Hanan spoke to the candidate’s career in the restaurant business.

“The Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Association (ARHA) proudly endorses Paul Sanford for U.S. Congress in the 5th district of North Alabama,” stated Hanan. “As a former restaurateur, Paul understands the daily challenges that business owners face. He also served as a former Republican member of the Alabama State Senate where he represented District 7 from 2009 to 2018. Paul is not only experienced in our industry, but his proven track record of public service shows that he has the skill set needed to be impactful at the federal level on day one.”

In 2020, Sanford launched the Alabama Small Business Coalition, which advocated for businesses to operate free from government restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sanford, who formerly served as a two-term state senator, touched on his time in the legislature advocating on behalf of the business community.

“As a trained chef and former restaurant owner, I am incredibly honored to receive this endorsement,” stated Sanford. “As a State Senator, I recognized the negative effects that the government had on my business and others throughout Alabama. My experience as a small business owner and serving in the State Senate uniquely qualifies me compared to my opponents to be the next Congressman from Alabama’s Fifth District. I am the only candidate in the field that has written, sponsored, amended, passed or killed a bill while also operating my own business. My proven conservative track record of fighting taxes and reducing Government regulations shows the type of leadership we currently need in Washington D.C.”

He concluded, “Between COVID shutdowns, out-of-control inflation, supply chain issues, and the staffing challenges that everyone is facing; I am more determined than ever to stand up and be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to protecting our small businesses and the hospitality industry.”

The primary election will take place on May 24, 2022.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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