Who should Alabama Republicans choose for Senate?

By John Meredith, al.com | comments4meredith@yahoo.com

John Meredith, of Huntsville, is a former Capitol Hill lobbyist who was recognized as one of the country’s 100 most influential Black Republicans.

The GOP base will soon head to the polls and nominate candidates to represent them in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Instead of voting for candidates whose only desire is supporting Donald Trump, they should nominate someone whose vote won’t be taken for granted. Someone who won’t be first in line to support whatever POTUS wants that day. Alabama needs another senator whose every vote is cast with the goal of improving the quality of life in our state.

That won’t happen if Jeff Sessions returns to the Senate. Many folks think he was a good Senator and that he deserves a second chance. Politically speaking however, we should nominate a candidate for senator that POTUS does not hate rather than snubbing him by returning someone he fired as Attorney General to represent us. Every vote Sessions casts will anger POTUS who will then target our state in retaliation.

No one in their right mind can expect anything but sexual harassment cases to pile up if Roy Moore is elected. And no one with a mind, right or otherwise, believes Arnold Mooney or Stanley Adair is capable of being a senator. That leaves principled Republican voters — those without formal ties to the party apparatus and are therefore free to vote their family interest — with only two choices, Bradley Byrne or Tommy Tuberville.

I attended a Byrne event soon after he announced his candidacy. He worked the room well and people bonded with him but I was disappointed in his stump speech. To his credit, Byrne compiled a solid conservative voting record in the House. He is pro-Trump but nobody’s puppet. He knows how to play hardball and already has personal relationships with many of his future Senate colleagues. Those voters valuing traditional statesmanship and proven legislative prowess will choose Byrne.

I also met Tuberville shorty after he announced his candidacy. He made a better first impression, but we never talked politics. Since then, I’ve watched his candidacy with interest, occasionally being pleasantly surprised by his flashes of independent thought and knowledge of certain issues. Unfortunately, since his Auburn parade float snafu, Tuberville has gone into witness protection. This is troubling because the last thing Alabama needs is another congressional politician so scared of media or constituent disagreement, or fact checking, they refuse to interact with them. Despite his disappearance, the unconventional outsider perspective Tuberville’s candidacy offers will appeal to the balance of principled GOP voters.

One of the reasons socialism is on the rise in America is because of incumbent snowflakes like Mo Brooks. He is alive today because of life-saving cancer treatments received as a congressman. That treatment was paid for with tax dollars from hard-working Americans. Rather than ensuring that same life-saving taxpayer-funded care to constituents, he denies it and accuses the sick and dying of making bad decisions. The idiosyncrasy that forces taxpayers to pay the medical bills of rich members of Congress but not those of their struggling neighbors is the main reason the House flipped in 2018.

Chris Lewis, a career naval officer experienced in both domestic and foreign policy issues, is the principled Republican’s choice in the Fifth District. Having actually served in the military, Lewis understands the importance of combat readiness and would never compromise it by voting to shut down Redstone Arsenal and every other military installation in America.

Lewis’ nomination will bring a new vitality to north Alabama. Our military will have a real champion and constituents will regain their voice once they finally have a congressman willing to meet with, and openly discuss, the concerns of all his constituents.

Nominating the right Republican congressional candidates means Alabama can double its political prowess despite the anticipated loss of a House seat after the 2020 census. Our nominees, however, must be carved from the same stone as Sen. Richard Shelby — a man among boys in Washington. A politician who casts every vote with one purpose in mind, a better quality of life for his constituents.