3 months ago

Carl, Coleman build big cash advantages in AL-01, AL-02

Candidates running in Alabama’s two open 2020 congressional races have now filed their FEC finance reports covering the third quarter of 2019, with one Republican candidate in each competitive field standing out when it comes to cash-on-hand.

In Alabama’s First Congressional District, the seat to be vacated by Congressman Bradley Byrne’s (R-Fairhope) U.S. Senate bid, former State Senator Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) technically led in Q3 fundraising.

Hightower raised $173,482 and spent $92,918 in the quarter, for an ending cash-on-hand of $447,611. Hightower has been endorsed by the Club for Growth in this race.

However, Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl brought in more total funds in the quarter and finished with significantly more money in the bank.

Carl raised $155,866 in Q3, loaned himself another $100,000, spent $55,257 and was left with $741,307 cash-on-hand.

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Carl said, “I’m humbled by the outpouring of support from voters all over south Alabama. Over 95% of our money was raised from folks in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District. I’m proud to report that we are in an excellent position to win the Republican primary on March 3, 2020.”

Next, State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) raised $91,680 in the quarter. He also spent $70,058, ending the period with $215,437 available.

Local businessman Wes Lambert only raised $9,935. However, he gave himself $5,000 and loaned himself another $110,000. Lambert spent $17,355 in Q3 and reported having $109,579 remaining in his campaign account.

Moving on to Alabama’s Second Congressional District, there was a decisive victor in both fundraising and cash-on-hand at the end of the third quarter.

Businessman and former Business Council of Alabama Chairman Jeff Coleman blew people away with a strong finance report.

Coleman actually raised more money in contributions than any of the Republican U.S. Senate candidates in the same quarter: $468,001.

He also loaned his campaign $500,000. Coleman spent just $2,973 in Q3, ending it with $965,027 on hand.

In a statement, Coleman said, “We are proud to report a robust figure that epitomizes the hard work of our team and the unwavering commitment of Alabamians to defending this seat. Liberals are focused on this district, and we know they plan to use the ‘Doug Jones’ model: divide Republicans and parade in an army of special interests from Planned Parenthood and labor unions to buy the seat.”

“With this strong quarter, we’re going to send a powerful message to Washington Democrats that this seat is off-limits,” he concluded.

Former Alabama Attorney General Troy King, who is currently leading sizably in polls due to his high name identification in the district, raised $102,742 in the quarter.

King spent a mere $371, finishing with $102,370.

“I am continually humbled by the support I am receiving from all across District 2. I attribute our success to the fact that many who live there have known and stood with me for a long time now. As a lifelong Republican, a native son of the Wiregrass, and a longtime resident of Montgomery, the folks in this district are like family to me. I understand them and those things that matter to them better than anyone else in this race,” King said in a statement. “I have been overwhelmed with the messages of encouragement I have received. Alabamians are ready to send a fighter to represent them and they are saying so with their support.”

“I have a strong career of standing with the little guy,” he added. “If you are tired of the crazies who have been running Washington DC, you can do something about it. Join me and let’s put an end to left wing control of our government.”

Former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) was not far behind King’s fundraising total, raising $70,822. He also loaned himself an additional $70,000.

Moore spent $12,732, closing the quarter with $128,089.

State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) raised $14,693 in Q3, spent $7,033 and reported $7,659 left cash-on-hand.

Both races are expected to add a candidate in this quarter, the final one of 2019.

John Castorani, an Army veteran and career intelligence officer, on Tuesday announced his candidacy in AL-01.

Jessica Fair Taylor of Prattville is expected to announce a bid in AL-02 in the coming days.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

57 seconds ago

Trey Gowdy to speak at Faulkner University’s winter dinner

Trey Gowdy, a former eight-term U.S. Representative from South Carolina, will be the speaker at Faulkner University’s 2020 benefit dinner.

Gowdy gained prominence during his time in Congress for being one of the most conservative members on Capitol Hill. He was the driving force behind the congressional investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attack that discovered Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The now-retired representative joins a star-studded list of previous speakers at the Faulkner University Benefit Dinner, including Nikki Haley, Tom Brokaw and Dr. Ben Carson.

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“Congressman Gowdy was entertained as a potential member of the President’s legal team for the impeachment proceedings, so he’ll have a lot to say that is relevant to what Montgomerians are talking about and thinking about as we think about the future of our nation,” Faulkner President Mike Williams said on Tuesday.

The dinner will be held on October 1 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. A range of ticket packages are available. Some packages on the higher end grant the purchaser photo opportunities with Gowdy and access to an exclusive reception.

Those interested in purchasing a ticket for the event can go here.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

28 mins ago

Doug Jones to host second annual HBCU summit at Miles College

Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) is inviting Alabamians to his second annual HBCU summit. The 2020 version of the summit will be at Miles College in Fairfield on February 14.

The event will have a student career and employment opportunities from across Alabama in addition to two panels moderated by Alabama’s junior senator.

Doug Jones has made championing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) one of the cornerstones of his time in the U.S. Senate.

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In 2019, Jones took to the Senate floor to say, “HBCUs are the leading educators for African American PhDs in science and in engineering. They are foundational to building generational wealth in communities that have long faced headwinds in doing so. They are doing amazing work. ”

Alabama is home to 14 HBCUs. Jones helped guarantee the continuance of their federal funds by co-sponsoring the FUTURE act with Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). The bill was signed in to law by President Donald Trump in December 2019.

The effort received praise from the leaders of Alabama’s HBCUs, many of whom will be joining Jones for the two panels during his summit.

The two panels, as follows:

Women in the Lead: How Six Alabama HBCU Presidents Are Raising the Bar
Dr. Patricia Sims, President, Drake State Community College
Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President, Stillman College
Dr. Martha Lavender, President, Gadsden State Community College
Ms. Bobbie Knight, Interim President, Miles College
Ms. Anita Archie, Interim President, Trenholm State Community College
Dr. Shirley Friar, Chief of Staff, Tuskegee University
Moderator: Senator Doug Jones

Student Voices: How Alabama HBCU Student-Leaders Are Lifting Up Their Campuses
featuring student representatives:
Miss Keila Michelle Lawrence, Miles College
Mr. Jacobi Gray, Alabama A&M University
Miss Arin Massey, Shelton State Community College
Mr. Amani Myers, Talladega College
Mr. Dakus Sankey, Jr., Trenholm State Community College
Moderator: Senator Doug Jones

Those interested in attending the summit can go here.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

1 hour ago

Birmingham marketing firm tapped for Super Bowl ad

Birmingham-headquartered marketing firm Big Communications has made a Super Bowl ad promoting the Fox broadcast of the 2020 Daytona 500.

The firm was tasked with making the ad by Fox Sports’ marketing team. When the ad airs on Sunday, it will be the first time in Big’s 25-year history that one of their ads will broadcast during the Super Bowl, which is the advertising industry’s biggest event of the year. Recent Super Bowls have averaged around 100 million American television viewers.

Blake Danforth, vice president of marketing for Fox Sports, credits Big’s award-winning work on Valvoline’s Never Idle campaign with piquing his interest in the firm.

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In a statement, Danforth said, “Big’s creative team had a genuine understanding of exactly what makes NASCAR fans love the sport with such an unrelenting, unrivaled intensity.”

“Promoting something as huge as the Great American Race on the biggest stage in all of advertising — that’s kind of a big deal,” commented Ford Wiles, Big partner and chief creative officer.

“This is the kind of moment that we live for — putting Alabama’s talent on display for the world to see,” Wiles concluded.

You can view Big’s Super Bowl ad here.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

2 hours ago

Monument to gold star families will be added to Huntsville’s Veterans Memorial

The Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial, a park on the north side of Huntsville’s downtown area, will be adding a monument to gold star families in 2020.

Gold Star families are those who have lost a member during service in the United States Armed Forces.

The monument is the final planned addition to the veterans memorial, a project that was first dedicated on 11/11/2011. Its origin dates back to 2000 when a half-sized replica of the Vietnam memorial was temporarily displayed in Huntsville. Some residents wanted something more permanent.

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“The Veterans Memorial has been erected not to commemorate the glory of battle or triumph of victory, but to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans, and to pay homage to those heroes we have lost,” said Brigadier General (Retired) Bob Drolet, chair of the Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial Foundation.

The monument to the gold star families is designed and aided by the Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, a foundation that has helped install similar monuments across the United States. To date, the group has placed 59 monuments across 45 states.

An identical monument was recently announced for installation in Mobile.

The primary sponsors of the Huntsville installation are Mike and Christine Wicks.

The Gold Star Family Memorial to be installed in Huntsville will be the first of its kind in Alabama.

The four panels on the back of the monument will read, “Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice.”

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

3 hours ago

Bruce Pearl praises religious freedom in Alabama — ‘I can live here in Auburn and practice my faith’

Speaking to members of the media Monday on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Auburn University head basketball coach Bruce Pearl lauded the religious freedom he enjoys living in the state of Alabama. He also called for unity and spoke strongly against anti-Semitism.

Pearl last spring became the fourth Jewish head coach in NCAA history to take a team to the Final Four. He was the first president of the Jewish Coaches Association.

“Today has always been a difficult day for me as it Holocaust Remembrance Day,” the coach said on Monday in the opening statement of his press availability.

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“I was born in 1960, 15 years after we opened up the gates in Auschwitz and discovered the atrocities,” he continued. “We vow to never let that happen again to anyone. Anti-Semitism is a terrible thing. As a Jewish man, I’ve lived with it my whole life and I’ve seen its ugly face many times.”

Pearl explained, “That’s why I’m so blessed to live in this country where there is great religious freedom. I can live here in Auburn and practice my faith.”

“The great challenge for me has always been that we are brothers. We are all brothers. We are all sisters. We are all related,” he outlined. “Abraham had two sons: Isaac and Ishmael. That makes us brothers because we have the same father – Abraham the father of many nations. Jesus was born a Jew and he died a Jew. That makes me brothers with my Christian brothers. If we can focus on that, whether you agree with it or not, that’s not my point. The point is we have a lot more in common than we have apart. We should celebrate those. We should never tolerate racism or something like anti-Semitism. What I would ask you all to remember is: never again.”

RELATED: Bruce Pearl slams AOC for ‘concentration camps’ tweets: ‘Attempt to rewrite the Holocaust’

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn