Apair of retired veterans— one from the military and one from the Baldwin County Board of Education — will square off in the June 5 Republican primary for the Alabama House District 64 seat.
Incumbent Harry Shiver seeks his fourth term in the seat that represents a portion of central Baldwin County up through the northern end and a southern portion of Monroe County. Retired military chaplain Steve Sexton is challenging Shiver for the seat.
The winner June 5 will face Democratic newcomer Amber Selman-Lynn in the November general election. All three are South Alabama natives, with Shiver a lifelong resident of Baldwin County.
Sexton was born in Florala in Covington County and traveled with his military and pastoral careers before settling in Baldwin County permanently in 2013. Selman-Lynn was born in Baldwin County and grew up in Georgia but has maintained strong family ties in the county. She moved back to Daphne with her family in 2017.
Shiver spent 32 years coaching and teaching before first seeking office in 2004. He said he wants to continue the work he’s started during his 12 years in the Legislature.
“We have cut spending while maintaining services, encouraged economic growth and begun the process to improve education,” Shiver said. “Infrastructure, education and prisons will continue to be issues that we will face in the upcoming term. We are working to improve highways and bridges in Baldwin County and across Alabama.”
Sexton, who first entered politics in a 2014 run for Senate District 22, believes jobs are a big issue for District 64 and would like to help bring more to the area.
“It is time to fill empty buildings with small businesses and manufacturing,” he said. “We have railroads, waterways, interstate highways and a seaport. We have an abundance of natural resources available. If we all get on board and face challenges, then nothing is too hard to accomplish.”
Selman-Lynn wants to help lead a wave of change in how Montgomery does business.
“I want to help turn the tide in Alabama and start a new tradition of trust and transparency in our state Legislature and set new priorities, such as excellence in education and health care,” Selman-Lynn said.
Another theme running throughout Baldwin County is population growth and the impact it is having on roads and bringing more students into an already overcrowded school system.
“Growth will continue to be a challenge that will affect many aspects of life in District 64 and throughout coastal Alabama,” Shiver said. “We are going to have to improve roads and other infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing number of residents and visitors.”
Sexton said offering more opportunities for the increasing numbers of students would be a focus for him.
“One of my priorities will be to look at the educational system providing students with life skills,” Sexton said. “Not every student is college bound. There is a lack of technical skill and labor skill facing Alabama.”