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Republican hopefuls for 2nd congressional district speak on key issues at Montgomery forum

On Thursday, most of the seven Republican candidates for Alabama’s Second Congressional District addressed voters at a forum in Montgomery at the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Building.

Former State Senator Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) said that he has been married to his wife, Ruth, for 35 years. They have 5 children.

“I served three terms in the Alabama Legislature,” Sen. Brewbaker said. “When I ran for Senate I promised that I would serve only two terms.”

“Being a State Senator was a lot of fun, so I hated leaving — but I had made a promise,” Brewbaker said. “I have got five grandchildren now. It will change your perspective. For the first time in my life I think it is possible that my children will live to see a day where they will not live in a free country.”

Brewbaker said that he was opposed to, “Woke culture and all that goes with it.”

Brewbaker denounced President Joseph Biden’s border policies.

“We have 400,000 illegals coming into the country across the southern border a month,” Brewbaker said. “150 Americans a day are dying from fentanyl poisoning that is being brought across the border.”

“We don’t need to pass any new laws,” Brewbaker said. “The President has all the authority he needs to close the border.”

Brewbaker said that the best work he did in the Alabama Legislature was “trying to keep government small.”

Brewbaker reminisced that when he was in the Senate, Alabama State School Superintendent, “Tommy Bice was going to eliminate home schooling,” and claim regulation authority over the governance of private schools until Brewbaker and the Legislature responded.

“Alabama now has the strongest protection for homeschoolers in the country and the Department of Education has no authority over private schools,” said Brewbaker.

Brewbaker said that he still opposes expanding Medicaid because many employers will drop health insurance coverage and workers will lose the ability to choose their doctors as more and more physicians are not taking new Medicaid patients.

Brewbaker, who until December, ran automobile dealerships in the Montgomery area, criticized the Affordable Care Act.

“After Obamacare passed, the deductible on my employees’ insurance went up from $3000 to $10,000. I had to put $300,000 into my company to get their deductible down to $4,000 – and that was with 99 people.”99

Caroleene Dobson is a real estate attorney.

“I am first and foremost a Christian wife, mother and lawyer,” Dobson said. “The future of our country is at stake.”

Dobson warned about the drugs, terrorism, and crime that is coming into the country through Biden’s southern border policy.

“The sheer number of non-taxpayers that are depending on our social services is going to cause our country to collapse,” Dobson warned.

Dobson also warned that Biden’s “weak leadership” has emboldened Iran, Russia, and China so much so that, “The map looks like it did right before World War II and we have about the same number of troops as we did then even though the population of the nation has more than doubled.”

Dobson blamed Biden’s policies for the growing difficulties in recruiting troops to join the armed forces.

“Strop treating our fighting men and women like guinea pigs for liberal social experiments,” said Dobson.

“Christianity is under attack,” Dobson stated. “I will fight against liberal indoctrination.”

Dobson promised that schools will once again teach that, “America is the greatest force for good in the world.”

Dobson warned of inflation.

“For the average family of four just basic living costs have increased $950,” said Dobson.

Dobson said that the U.S. should work to become energy independent and that Biden’s recent decision on liquified natural gas, “Shows that he cares more about a fringe element of his own party,” than he does about doing what is right for the country.

“I grew up on a farm where I learned early on that everything we have comes from God,” Dobson said. “I have been endorsed by the Alabama Farmers Federation because they know that I have what it takes to fight the liberal agenda in Washington DC.”

State Senator Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) compared and contrasted the fiscal recklessness in Washington to the fiscal restraint that he and his fellow legislators have shown in Alabama.

“The country is spending more money every day by printing money,” Sen. Albritton said. “Now we are past the $34 trillion mark (in national debt) moving fast to $35 trillion.”

Albritton, who chairs the Senate Committee that works on the state general fund budget (SGF) said that in Alabama with the same economy – “We wound up with a surplus of $300 to $400 million” that rolled into the current fiscal year.

“We passed a supplement that paid off the ATF (Alabama Trust Fund),” Albritton said. “We have not had proration since 2011 – 2011 was the last Democratic prepared budget” (in the state).

The state did have to borrow funds to pay off the Alabama Trust Fund.

“We borrowed close to $400 million bucks over 3 of 4 years,” Albritton said. “We were paying that back at $13 million a year which would have taken a while. Last February we took money in a supplemental appropriation and paid that off. We have paid off some bonds. My point there is that they (the federal government) are moving in the wrong direction.”

“Debbie and I have been married for fifty years and we have six kids,” Albritton said. “I served in the Navy.”

Following the Navy, Albritton went to law school. Albritton said that he had to beat Democrats to win his Senate seat and that he can repeat that accomplishment in CD2.

“I can win this race,” Albritton said. “I can beat the Democrats in this seat.”

“All those counties that were all Democrat when I ran, are now all Republican,” Albritton said. “We need to take this seat I can do that

Hampton Harris is just 27 years old but has graduated from law school and has a real estate business in the Montgomery area.

“I am the most conservative candidate in this district,” Harris said. “I grew up in Montgomery my mother homeschooled me and six children. I went to Auburn University in Montgomery. I worked in a hospital. I graduated from the most conservative law school in the state. I got here through hard work and getting my hands dirty.”

Harris said that he and his wife, Abby, volunteer to help veterans get the VA benefits that they deserve.

Harris said that Montgomery is home to Maxwell Air Force Base as well as the Air National Guard fighter wing producing 12,000 job in the area.

Harris denounced liberal ideology being taught to our troops and blamed woke ideology training and vaccine mandates for the recruiting shortage.

Harris also denounced Biden’s border policies.

“We need to close our border, build the border wall, and restore the remain in Mexico policy,” Harris said. “The average family spends $1100 a year extra due to illegal immigration.”

“As a small businessman I have seen the amount of taxes and red tape,” imposed on business by the government Harris continued. “We need to deregulate businesses.”

“I am a Christian foremost and a strong Republican,” Harris said. “I have voted for Trump in every election.”

Councilwoman Belinda Thomas Belinda Thomas is a farmer and founder of Joyful F.A.R.M.S., a nonprofit that mentors new farmers and is the owner of Alabamaboo Inc., which promotes farming bamboo. She was elected to the Newton City Council in 2020.

Thomas said that she ran for Newton city council into order to bring sidewalks to the town and was elected.

“I decided to run for council,” Newton said. “Not one African American supported me (Thomas is Black). Not one African American came and said that I support you. It was the Caucasians that said we support you.”

Montgomery Young Republican Vice Chair Caleb Connors said, “Thank you for the Alabama Cattleman’s Association for letting us use your space. I would like to thank all the volunteers.”

“Montgomery County is ready for whoever is the nominee,” Connors said. “We have a lot of hard workers who believe in the Republican cause.”

Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl said, “We are being pushed to be something new a socialist country.”

“We are at ground zero for the battle for this country,” Wahl said. “It is going to be hard. This district was designed by a federal court to be a Democrat District.”

Wahl said that despite that this district is winnable for the GOP.

Stacey T. Shepperson and Karla M Dupriest are also running as Republicans for CD2. Wallace Gilberry qualified; but has formally dropped out of the race. There are also 13 Democratic candidates running for CD2 in the Democratic primary.

Both of the major party primaries will be on March 5.

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