Reynolds announces candidacy for senate

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2006

A candidate hailing from Greenville hit the campaign trail on Thursday, ending the day with a well-attended reception at Cambrian Ridge.

Joan Reynolds, a business woman and active community volunteer, retired from Alfa Insurance in 2005 as the only woman ever inducted into Alfa Hall of Fame.

She says she is ready to take on a new challenge.

The chairman of the Butler County Republican Party and the Republican State Executive Committee officially kicked off her run for the Alabama State Senate against Democrat incumbent Wendell Mitchell.

&uot;We started the day at 7 a.m., traveled all over the 30th District and got back here late this afternoon,&uot; Reynolds told the crowd at Cambrian Ridge Thursday night.

&uot;For the past year, I have been meeting with people from across the 30th Senate District discussing their feelings about where our state government is heading…whether or not we are on the right path…and asking for their ideas of what we should be doing to reach our objectives,&uot; Reynolds said.

The candidate said most of those she spoke to see improvements in education, linked with a need for more job opportunities, as the biggest problems facing the state.

&uot;We all know a good education is essential…but what kind of job prospects will we be able to provide those of our children who stay in school and graduate…what sort of future can they look forward to in this part of Alabama in terms of a well-paying job? Most people believe the future is not very bright.&uot;

Reynolds said some progress had been made in bringing companies to some areas in the state but stressed &uot;more effort is needed.&uot;

She doesn’t think &uot;throwing money at the problems&uot; is the answer.

&uot;When there is no money, then what do we do? Why, raise taxes, of course.&uot;

The promises of politicians, Reynolds said, &uot;are not good enough.&uot;

&uot;I’ve had enough hollow commitments to better school…tired of our young people’s future being limited to a foreign automobile manufacturer…tired of listening to elected officials whose only solution to those problems is to raise our taxes.&uot;

Reynolds said she hoped to see the legislature &uot;rid of the old-time Democrats who have kept us strapped to those worn-out liberal ideas for over a hundred years,&uot; a statement that drew a round of hearty applause from listeners.

The candidate called for a &uot;new day in Alabama…when conservative Republicans team up with Reagan Democrats and elect new people with new ideas who will bring those ideas to bear on old problems.&uot;

Reynolds knows she faces an uphill battle against a popular longtime incumbent.

&uot;This will not be an easy race. The odds will be stacked against us. But it can be done – and it is certainly worth the effort.&uot;

The candidate said she would be talking to people in the weeks and months to come about important issues and &uot;we will be proposing solutions that make sense and are cost effective.&uot;

Reynolds, a native of Vicksburg, Miss., is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in business education.

A former Miss Vicksburg, Reynolds was runner-up in the Miss Mississippi/Miss America Pageant. She later won Miss Mississippi and went on to compete in the Miss USA/Miss Universe program.

She and husband Paul owned and operated a small chain of retail stores from 1967 to 1979.

Reynolds is currently CEO of Great South Wireless. For 26 years, she served as an agent for Alfa Insurance.

Reynolds is involved in a number of civic, fraternal, party and religious organizations. Some of these include her 15-plus years as chairman for the American Cancer Society in Butler County, and eight years as chair for the ACS Relay For Life. Reynolds is also county coordinator for the Alabama Christian Coalition.

Active in the Southern Baptist Convention, she is a member of Southside of Greenville, chairman of the Alabama Baptist State Convention Insurance Committee, a member of their insurance study committee, and serves on the Shocco Springs Retreat Center Board of Trustees, along with other Shocco committees.

Reynolds is also on the advisory board of Bancorp South, director of business and program coordinator for the Miss Greater Greenville Scholarship Board, and a member of the Greenville Rotary Club.

She was selected as The Greenville Advocate’s 2005 Citizen of the Year for her community service. Reynolds and her husband Paul have been married 40 years and are the parents of three sons, Lee Stacey, Lyle and Cameron, and the grandparents of four.

Reynolds expressed great excitement and pleasure at the high turnout at her kick-off reception.

&uot;When you send out the invitations, you don’t know how many will respond – you’re not sure what side of the fence everyone is on. This is marvelous,&uot; Reynolds said with a smile as she glanced around the room.