Van Smith endorsed by Alabama Forestry Association, supported by job creators in HD 42 race
Autauga County Commissioner Van Smith has been endorsed by the Alabama Forestry Association (AFA) in the House District 42 special Republican primary election to fill the seat of the late State Rep. Jimmy Martin (R-Clanton).
The endorsement was announced in a statement on Tuesday.
“We believe that Van Smith is the best candidate to represent District 42,” AFA Executive Vice President Chris Isaacson emphasized.
Smith, a career educator and farmer, also boasts the respective endorsements of the Business Council of Alabama and Alabama Farmers Federation. Along with the AFA, these organizations represent some of the biggest job creators in the state.
“He is a tree farmer, as well as a cattle and hay farmer,” Isaacson explained. “We believe he understands the issues that the people in Autauga and Chilton Counties face and can best represent them.”
Smith was born and raised in Chilton County. He received his Bachelors degree in Agriscience from Auburn University, his Masters in Agriscience from Alabama A&M University and his teaching certificate from the University of Montevallo.
He is a veteran of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve.
“The timber industry is a major part of Alabama’s economy, providing jobs and revenue all across the state specifically in Chilton and Autauga Counties. I’m humbled to receive the endorsement from this conservative organization,” Smith said.
No other candidates in the race have been endorsed by a trade or industry group.
Chilton County Commissioner Allen Caton on Monday was endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA). Chilton County Commissioner Jimmie Hardee and Jemison Town Administrator Shannon Welch are the other Republican candidates vying to represent parts of Autauga and Chilton Counties in the Alabama House of Representatives.
The primary is on August 20. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote that day, a primary runoff will be held on November 5 and the general will be held January 21. If no runoff is necessary, the general will be held November 5. Kennith Allison, Sr. of Jemison is the only Democrat who qualified to run for the seat.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn