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Next up in Decatur; Daniels for Congress? and more in this week’s Off The Record

Off The Record: The latest rumors and rumblings in North Alabama


Next up?

Now that Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling has announced he is not going to run for re-election talk turns to those that might make the race to replace him. Names that have been mentioned by Morgan County insiders are Kyle Pike, Suzie Wiley, Carl Cole and Terry Welch. But the name that is being talked up more than those and seems to have the inside track early in the race is newcomer Kent Lawrence. Lawrence has been active in the business community and is on the Decatur Planning Commission. He seems to be the “favored” candidate by Bowling and several voices on the City Council.

Daniels deciding …

State Rep. Anthony Daniels is reportedly considering a run for Congress in the newly drawn Second Congressional District. As arguably one of the safest incumbents in the state, Daniels has constantly been rumored for higher office, even before his first election to the House in 2014. Daniels grew up in Bullock County, which now sits in the redrawn Second District. Sources say he’s heavily considering settling down in the district with his wife and two kids and making a run for the entirely open seat. It’s been a minute since Daniels has faced serious electoral competition, if any at all. And the field of primary hopefuls could show the state once and for all the lessons Daniels has learned tooth and nail ascending to the heights of Alabama politics.

Making a “strong” impression

More than a few North Alabama phones rang last week with a polling survey focused on the Fifth Congressional District and Rep. Dale Strong’s chances for re-election. By all reports, it was a lengthy and detailed survey testing Strong against several possible opponents. Sources close to the Strong campaign will neither “confirm nor deny” they conducted a poll but the name that popped up on some caller IDs is linked to the polling group Strong has used. While not confirming this specific poll was theirs, sources would admit that polling data in the race shows Strong with a wide lead against all tested opponents and that he is in a STRONG position going in to a possible March campaign.

Calvert coming

Two weeks ago, Strong played host to then-Majority Leader and one-time Speaker nominee Steve Scalise for a fundraising event at Toyota Field. By all accounts, the event was a huge success raising money for Scalise’s Leadership PAC and ending with Strong presenting the possible new Speaker his own personalized Trash Pandas jersey. Strong isn’t resting though and next week is hosting an event to raise money for U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee. In that post, Calvert (R-Calif.) has a huge say over all funding decisions for Redstone Arsenal and Space Command. He is in a tough race and Strong seems to be following the former Sen. Richard Shelby guide to making friends by helping them raise money in hopes that they remember North Alabama come budget time.

TARCOG steps up

The Top of Alabama Reginal Council Of Governments has a new president. Madison City Councilwoman Connie Spears was elected president of the organization at the end of September. TARCOG works with municipal, county, and state governments and federal agencies to address regional issues in DeKalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison, and Marshall counties. Spears, well known for her effective leadership and commitment to the people of North Alabama, has reportedly hit the ground running. Keep your eye out for coming developments from TARCOG’s work in community improvement, economic growth and support of seniors.   

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