Jerry Carl (from left), Wes Lambert, Chris Pringle and Bill Hightower have all thrown their hat into the ring for Alabama’s First Congressional District seat.
Since Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl became the first to announce a campaign to seek U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne’s seat in Congress, three other Republicans have entered the race. State Rep. Chris Pringle and Baldwin County businessman Wes Lambert announced their candidacies on April 4 and April 11, respectively, while former State Sen. Bill Hightower announced Tuesday morning.
Byrne has announced a campaign for Senate in an attempt to unseat incumbent Democrat Doug Jones. The statewide primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
Pringle is currently serving his third term in the state legislature, having originally served from 1994 to 2002. A licensed general contractor, homebuilder and real estate salesman, he is a member of the Constitution, Campaigns and Elections and Internal Affairs committees. Pringle chairs the State Government committee.
Calling himself a “capable and experienced conservative,” Pringle said a priority in Congress would be cutting waste and bringing transparency to government.
“I have fought the wasteful spending of government and worked to make state government more accountable and taken on special interests,” he said at his campaign announcement. “After 35 years as a realtor specializing in timberland and acquisitions, I know firsthand how government overreach has crippled agriculture and small business.”
He cites his recent experience successfully lobbying for the Port of Mobile’s channel widening project to be partially funded through the new gas bill, pledging if elected to Congress, he’ll fight for more navy ship-building contracts and attempt to “get the federal government out of coastal fishing regulations.”
“You’ll have a bulldog in Washington,” he said. “I will go toe-to-toe with the liberal Democrats who are attempting to turn this great republic into a socialist disaster. I’m sick and tired of federal government’s one-size-fits-all approach to education and I’ll fight for common sense solutions that benefit our children. We’ll send a message to the liberals in the 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 immigrants and building the wall, repealing and replacing Obamacare, rebuilding our military, standing for veterans and defending the Second Amendment, protecting the sanctity of life and keeping the American people safe.”
Lambert, a resident of Spanish Fort, is perhaps best known as the owner of Dumbwaiter, a restaurant with locations in Mobile and Fairhope. State records indicate he and his wife, Dana, also incorporated Lambert Building & Development in 2005 and Progressive Relocation Solutions LLC in 2010.
Self-described as a conservative who is “strong on families,” Lambert said in his campaign announcement that he intends to focus on the economy, family values, healthcare and letting people make decisions based on local needs.
“We learn values from our families on how to make the right choices,” Lambert said. “Families should make decisions about healthcare, their child’s education and how their hard-earned dollars are spent. Great governments work from the ground up, not the top down.”
Mentioning his experience as a businessman, Lambert said, “Alabamians deserve a government that makes the economy work for them, with abundant highly skilled and well-paying jobs. The way to get there is to keep businesses free of needless and punishing governmental regulations.”
He also said he will “continue the tradition of the district being represented by good, conservative values.”
“The left has worked to impose too many rules, constraints and higher taxes, creating a burden that destroys our companies and hurts workers in southwest Alabama. I want to make sure that we lower taxes and make it so companies can worry about their workers and not Washington,” he said.
Hightower, who also ran unsuccessfully for governor last year, announced shortly before this issue’s deadline his decision to also seek to succeed Byrne. He served in the Alabama Senate from 2013 – 2018, and during his run for governor, he frequently touted his business experience. Has worked with Emerson Electric, AlliedSignal, Eaton and Balfour-Beatty and also run several small businesses.
Meanwhile, Carl announced in a news release last week that since he launched his campaign on Feb. 27, his campaign has raised over $385,000, 95 percent of which was from within the district.
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support from all over this great district,” he said. “Our campaign has received support from a wide variety of individuals—from small-business owners and community leaders to seniors, young families and those looking for strong conservative leadership in Washington.”
Aligning closely with President Trump in announcing his campaign, Carl described himself as “an outsider, a job creator and a businessman looking to get things done. I am beholden to nobody. I have never taken no for an answer, and I will work to bring the tough lessons we learn in the real world to [Washington] D.C.”
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