Former State Sen. Paul Sanford on Monday announced his intentions to seek the Republican nomination to represent Alabama’s fifth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The congressional seat is becoming vacant as U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) is seeking election to the U.S. Senate.
Sanford’s family is widely known for their years of service in the region’s restaurant industry as owners of Gibson’s Bar-B-Q in Huntsville and Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Que in Decatur. He is the great grandson of “Big Bob” Gibson, who was the inventor of the popular Alabama white barbecue sauce recipe.
Sanford and his wife in 2002 opened their own restaurant, Little Paul’s Barbecue, which they owned for 15 years. Upon his exit from the restaurant industry, Sanford would go on to launch a consulting business.
In announcing his candidacy, the former legislator noted that his leaving the Alabama State Senate was due to his contention that elected officials should be term-limited.
“Almost thirteen years ago, I stood inside my family’s fourth generation business, Gibson’s Bar-B-Q and announced my intention to run for the Alabama Senate. I firmly believe that our Constitution did not intend for elected officials to stay in office forever, and after serving in the Senate for nine and a half years, I recognized that it was time to honor my stance on term limits,” proclaimed Sanford.
He added, “After four years of watching idly by on the sidelines, my family and I have decided it is the right time for me to re-enter the fight for our Freedoms. Today, I am asking the people of North Alabama for their support and to grant me the honor of representing the citizens and businesses of the 5th District as your next Representative in Congress.”
Sanford took exception to the progressive policies of President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). He asserted that the Democrat leaders are “not focused on putting Americans first” and that they do not hold “the best interest of our nation at heart.”
“The actions of our Government speak loud and clear at our ports, our borders, and at every retail store, cash register & gas pump,” Sanford advised. “District 5 needs a strong conservative who will fight for you everyday without shying away from tough issues. I pledge to stand strong while fighting for our freedoms, rights, and conservative values in Washington DC. It is time that we send hard working individuals like you and me to Washington DC in order to make the right decisions and get our country back on track.”
Sanford’s campaign noted the conservative voting record he compiled during his tenure in the legislature’s upper chamber. The campaign cited his opposition to raising taxes, government overreach and wasteful spending, as well as his objection to legislation that infringed upon individual liberty.
The campaign made mention of Sanford’s support for small business, protection of human life, balanced budgets and defense of constitutional rights. Additionally, Sanford’s campaign noted his support for the Second Amendment as an avid hunter.
With Sanford’s entry into the race, Alabama’s fifth congressional district now has six candidates vying for the seat. However, the former state senator indicated that his prior legislative experience sets him apart in the crowded field.
“In a crowded Republican Primary it is always hard to separate yourself as a candidate. People need to know I have nine and a half years of legislative experience in the Alabama Senate fighting for conservative principles and the people of Alabama,” Sanford told Yellowhammer News. “So that makes me the only candidate that has sponsored, drafted, amended, passed, or stopped legislation that impacts their lives. Which means I have a proven and tested conservative record that they may depend upon.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL