President Donald Trump’s third State of the Union and fourth address to a joint session of Congress is set for Tuesday night.
Every federally elected lawmaker is allowed to bring a guest to the big speech, and their choice of a companion for the event is often a political indication.
Yellowhammer News reached out to each of the nine members of Alabama’s congressional delegation about who they were bringing.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is bringing the chancellor of the University of Alabama System, Finis “Fess” St. John IV. A spokesman for Shelby describes the pair as “old friends.” Shelby has long been a champion for institutions of higher education in the state of Alabama.
Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) will be attending with his wife, Louise.
Joining Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) of Alabama’s first congressional district is Johnny Spann from Winfield, Alabama. Spann’s son, Michael, was the first American killed during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2001.
“It is a special honor to have Johnny Spann join me for this historic State of the Union address. Johnny and the Spann family have an intimate understanding of the suffering shared by countless American families who have lost loved ones in service. We must always cherish Mike’s memory and remember those who have sacrificed to preserve the freedoms we cherish as Americans,” Byrne said in a statement to Yellowhammer News.
Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) of Alabama’s second congressional district is bringing Mr. Cam West, president of Huntingdon College in Montgomery. Roby is chair of the Congressional Independent Colleges Caucus. West was already in Washington for one of that group’s events.
Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) of Alabama’s fourth congressional district is bringing his wife Caroline.
Yellowhammer News’ Jeff Poor will be attending with Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), who represents Alabama’s fifth congressional district. In addition to his work with Yellowhammer, Poor hosts a daily radio show on WVNN in Huntsville and is a staff editor for Breitbart. Brooks is a frequent guest on conservative talk radio. In past years, he has invited Alabama radio hosts Matt Murphy and Dale Jackson.
Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) of Alabama’s seventh congressional district is bringing Alabama State Representative Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham). Coleman was already in Washington, D.C. for the 2020 National Black Leadership Conference that is hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus, of which Sewell is an integral member.
Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) and Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) did not respond to Yellowhammer’s inquiry about their SOTU guests by the time of publishing.