The owner of Mobile County’s largest private transportation business is filing the necessary paperwork to be included in an Oct. 15 special election to replace Jim Barton in the state house of representatives. Margie Wilcox, a Theodore native who founded Mobile Bay Transportation in 1991 as an airport shuttle service, said she intended use her experience as a successful small business owner to streamline regulations that may be hampering other entrepreneurs and their potential to create jobs.

“Small business by very definition is difficult,” Wilcox said. “You have to be an expert on environmental law, human resources, ADA law. By dealing with municipalities and other governments I’ve dealt with, I’ve seen a disconnect between what it takes to grow and help small business. I’d like to be the sounding board to help make it better and easier to operate a small business in Alabama. Too many regulations get in the way everyday and it affects how many people you can hire.”

Margie Wilcox

Wilcox was born and raised in the Tillman’s Corner area and is a 1980 graduate of Theodore High School. In 2001, she launched Pensacola Bay Transportation in Northwest Florida, and in 2007 she bought Yellow Cab company, which operates in Mobile and Baldwin counties. She was previously awarded the ADA transportation contract for the city of Mobile, one she held for 10 years. Wilcox currently employs more than 80 people.

Wilcox was a former officer in the Mobile County Republican Executive Committee and said she has served on numerous community boards and advisory groups. She lost her house in Hurricane Katrina and an industrial building at Yellow Cab in a tornado last year and cites affordable homeowners insurance as another priority issue to tackle at the state level. She also said she wouldn’t be intimidated serving in the male-dominated state legislature.

“I’m not afraid to walk into the boys’ room,” she said. “The taxi industry is a male-dominated industry and on the boards I’ve served on sometimes I was the only woman or one of two women in the room. Sometimes that other woman was there to take notes. But I’m uniquely qualified and I’ve fought those battles.”

Wilcox has created a Facebook page for her campaign.

A special primary election will be held Tuesday, Oct. 15, or in the event that a special primary election is not necessary because the major parties only have one candidate, a special general election will be held Dec. 10. If necessary, a special primary runoff election will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3.

If a special primary runoff election is not necessary because one candidate receives a majority of the votes in the special primary election, the special general election will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10. If a special primary runoff election is required, the special general election will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

Major political party candidates for the seat must qualify by 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 19. Third-party, independent and minor party candidates must file with the Secretary of State by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8.