State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) is officially running for the congressional seat being vacated by Congressman Bradley Byrne’s (AL-01) 2020 U.S. Senate bid.
While a Pringle candidacy has been rumored for several months, Thursday marked his entrance into the race at an announcement event where the state representative was joined by family, friends and supporters from coastal Alabama.
“When I first ran for public office, I did so to find real solutions, because I believe in the legislative process,” Pringle told the crowd. “More than that, I knew then, as I know now, just how special this place that we call home is.”
Pringle, a 1984 graduate of the University of Alabama, worked on political campaigns and as a staffer on Capitol Hill before originally serving in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1994 to 2002, when he vacated his seat to run for Congress and attempt to succeed Sonny Callahan.
After Jo Bonner won that race, Pringle continued his successful career as a businessman, developer and licensed Realtor, specializing in timber sales and acquisition.
Following a 12-year hiatus, he mounted a bid for his old state House seat in 2014, winning election in impressive fashion.
Pringle quickly rose to minority leader in his first stint as a state representative and now chairs the State Government Committee.
“We need leadership capable of fighting to preserve our way of life that can only exist here,” he said at his announcement on Thursday. “As Congressman Byrne sets along a new path to take back our representation in the United States Senate, we must fill his seat with a proven conservative – capable and experienced.”
“After much prayer, reflection and family discussion, I believe I am best qualified to serve you in Washington,” Pringle continued. “My background as a Realtor, a homebuilder and a general contractor, along with my experience as a state legislator, make me uniquely qualified for this position.”
He outlined his “proven record” as a “conservative reformer,” including success at “cutting waste and bringing transparency to government” as a state representative. This included rightsizing state spending, increasing government accountability and “taking on special interests.”
“After 25 years as a Realtor specializing in timber sales and acquisition, I know firsthand how government overreach can cripple agriculture and small businesses,” Pringle advised.
He then mentioned his involvement, along with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Byrne, in securing the necessary funding to deepen and widen the ship channel at the Port of Mobile, which will be a massive economic boon for not just Alabama’s First Congressional District, but for the entire state.
Pringle also mentioned getting the federal government out of coastal fishing regulations and “fighting for more ship building contracts” as examples of always putting his district first.
“When I become your next congressman, you will have a bulldog in Washington,” Pringle emphasized. “I will go toe-to-toe with the liberal Democrats who are attempting to turn this great Republic into a Socialist disaster. I am sick and tired of the federal government’s one-size-fits-all approach to education, and I’ll fight for commonsense solutions that benefit our children.”
He continued, “We will send a message to the liberals in this country that late term abortion is nothing short of murder. And I won’t sit by while the Green New Deal puts America at risk. I will stand with President Trump on illegal immigration and building the wall; repealing and replacing Obamacare; rebuilding our military; standing for our veterans and defending the Second Amendment; protecting the sanctity of life; and keeping the American people safe.”
Known as a pro-jobs conservative, Pringle then promised to continue supporting commonsense economic policies like the ones currently being championed by Trump.
“Now is the time to capitalize on opportunities for Alabama’s future, with a presidential agenda that can achieve our potential,” he said, also highlighting workforce development efforts.
The only other declared candidate for the seat is Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl.
Yellowhammer News previously confirmed ALGOP Chair Terry Lathan will not run for the seat and has now learned Michael Chambers will not mount a bid, either.
Pringle has also released his first campaign ad.
One of Us pic.twitter.com/15JbBZGDMU
— PringleforCongress (@PringleforAL01) April 5, 2019
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn