HD74 Update: NRA backs Meadows, Polizos clarifies position on conservative budgeting bill
The Alabama House District 74 race is an interesting preview of the 2014 election cycle.
We’ve seen the school employees’ union (AEA) go in hard against a school choice advocate. We’ve seen a Republican try to carve out issues in her platform to mollify the AEA and subsequently not make it into the runoff. We’ve seen competing Montgomery interest groups choose sides. And behind-the-scenes we’ve listened to the campaign consultants debate the definition of a “real Republican.”
This is what the Alabama political landscape looks like as we head toward the GOP’s first election cycle as the state’s
majority Party only Party with a pulse.
Charlotte Meadows’ campaign survived the initial onslaught of disingenuous AEA attack ads and made it into the runoff against restaurateur and Montgomery County Commissioner Dimitri Polizos.
Meadows received a boost on Monday from the National Rifle Association, which endorsed her candidacy and gave her an “AQ” rating, the highest rating given by the Second Amendment advocacy group.
“I am very excited to be endorsed by the NRA. I am a strong supporter, and have always been a strong supporter, of our Second Amendment rights and our constitutional freedoms,” Meadows said after being informed of the endorsement.
The NRA’s announcement follows closely on the heels of the Alabama Forestry Association’s endorsement, giving Meadows’ two large conservative feathers in her cap.
Polizos, who finished first in the primary, managed to stay mostly above the fray during the early part of the race as Meadows and rival Republican Heather Sellers battled it out.
But with Sellers out of the race, criticism is now finding its way to Polizos. Both Sellers and Polizos expressed opposition to two of the GOP’s major legislative achievements — the Rolling Reserve Act, a bill that caps spending, forcing the government to live within its means; and the Accountability Act, Republicans’ landmark school choice bill.
Polizos believes the criticism is unwarranted, particularly when it comes to the Rolling Reserve.
Polizos said on numerous occasions, including an AEA candidates forum, that he did not support the bill. However, he told Yellowhammer yesterday that he simply did not know what the bill was when he was initially asked about it.
“My remarks were made before I reviewed what the Rolling Reserve Act was,” Polizos said via email. “Quite frankly, it had never come up before… Once I understood what Rolling Reserve was, I embraced the concept that uncertainty about revenues is lessened with this legislation.”
He says he now supports the bill wholeheartedly, although he did not issue any previous clarification when other media outlets discussed his opposition to the bill.
Polizos may have been the main beneficiary of AEA attacks on Meadows during the primary, but he says he will not take any money from them in the runoff.
“I did not accept AEA money in the primary, nor will I accept AEA money in the runoff,” he said.
It is still a long way to election day on Nov. 19. Here are a few things worth watching between now and then:
- Will AEA continue to nuke Meadows?
- Will Polizos be able to raise any more money? He currently has just over $7,000 cash on hand, compared to Meadows’ $47,000.
- Will any other Montgomery interest groups come in big behind either candidate?
- Which campaign will put together the best voter turnout effort in what will be a very, very low turnout runoff?
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