By Tyler Pruett
Because 2016 is a presidential election year and media coverage of the presidential race is so extensive, the importance of other races on the ballot—county, statewide, even other federal races—often becomes minimized and lost in the shuffle.
In all the confusion it is easy to lose sight of the races that matter right here in Alabama and in DeKalb County. Whom we choose to lead this country as our president for the next four years is of vital importance, but we are often equally or even more greatly affected by the leadership and actions of those we put into office at a local level right here at home.
Over the next two weeks, Southern Torch will be focusing on the races beyond the presidency that will affect DeKalb County. This week we’re taking a look at the two U.S. Congressional races on the ballot: Seat of U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby; and the seat of U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt. With nine candidates on the ballot in the two races, things can get confusing fast. We’re starting with the breakdown of the candidates that in federal seats and as we get nearer election day.
U.S. House of Representatives-Fourth Congressional District
Robert B. Aderholt - (Incumbent running for re-election)
Congressman Aderholt has served the 4th Congressional District for almost 20 years. Aderholt is a true powerbroker in U.S. Congress. He is a longstanding member of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, which has jurisdiction over funding the operation of the federal government. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, he has great influence on the industry and how it affects the 4th District and all of Alabama. Aderholt is also a member of the Commerce, Justice & Science Subcommittee and the Defense Subcommittee. Prior to his election to Congress, Aderholt served as an aide to Governor Fob James and as a Municipal Judge in Haleyville, Alabama.
After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Norris began a career in engineering, followed by a move to the financial sector. Phil continues to work as an independent nuclear contractor, involved in nuclear projects all across the country.
Politically, Phil ran for Alabama’s 7th Congressional District in 2012 and has served as a Delegate to the Georgia State Republican convention throughout the 2000 and 2004 election cycles. He supported several campaigns during his tenure as State Delegate. He has also supported several Congressional and Senatorial campaigns. The highlight of his tenure as a Georgia State delegate was his invitation to a private event with President George W. Bush in the weeks following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Phil ran for the Board of Education in Bibb County Georgia on two occasions.
U.S. Senate Race
Richard Shelby - (Incumbent running for re-election)
The long time incumbent in the race, Senator Shelby has served in U.S. Senate for nearly 30 years. Shelby won office in 1986, defeating Republican Jeremiah Denton. Prior to becoming a U.S. Senator, Shelby served in both the Alabama House of Representatives and Senate. 2016 will be the first election since 1998 the senator has faced serious opposition, in which he won in a large margin. Currently he serves on the senate committees on banking, housing, and urban affairs, appropriations, as well as rules and administration.
Mr. McConnell attended Auburn University and served as President of the Student Government Association in 2004. After college, he served in the United States Marine Corps as an infantry officer, achieving the rank of Captain and serving two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Now McConnell runs a maritime security company, protecting commercial shipping from piracy. He’s running for office out of frustration with career politicians and supports term limits.
Marcus Bowman is a resident of Daphne, AL. Bowman spent 10 years working in Washington, D.C. as a political analyst and researcher, as well as an Uber driver. He’s running a self-funded campaign and plans on visiting every county in Alabama before the March 1 primary. Bowman wants to see ordinary citizens elected to the Federal Reserve Board and this agency audited regularly.
John Martin is a long time resident of Dothan, AL. Martin served his country while flying reconnaissance drones for the U.S. Army in Iraq, and works as a commercial pilot after returning from the Middle East. He ran for Congress unsuccessfully in 2008.
Former State Senator Shadrack McGill announced his campaign against incumbent Richard Shelby in late November, 2015. Many remember McGill from defeating former Senator Lowell Barron in 2010. McGill would only serve one term in the Alabama Senate, choosing not to run for re-election at the end of his term in 2014.
Ronald “Ron” Steven Crumpton
• Ronald Crumpton is a Medical Marijuana and Patient’s Rights Advocate
• From Pelham, Ala.
• Ran for Alabama Senate District 11 in 2014
• University of Alabama 2009-2014
• Born in Cameroon, West Africa
• Migrated to U.S. with $428 to his name
• Degrees in mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, finance and strategic Management
• 1 of 14 children