Jones seeking 2nd term
Mike Jones this week announced his plans to seek a second term in the Alabama House of Representatives, District 92, in 2014.
The Andalusia attorney, a Republican, was first elected in 2010.
Jones said he is proud that he was able to follow through on promises he made in his first campaign, specifically that he would stay in touch with constituents and that he would read bills before he voted on them.
He said one way he has achieved the first promise is through town hall meetings.
“I have been diligent about holding town hall meetings, before and after sessions,” he said. “I get input constantly from people here, from people I represent, and I think that’s the most important part of the job.”
He schedules town hall meetings prior to each session to get input on what the legislature needs to address, he said. The follow-up sessions are for critiques, he said.
“That’s part of the job.”
He said he is appreciative of the cooperation of Sen. Jimmy Holley, who represents Covington County in the Senate, and who has participated in each town hall meeting.
“We’ve already had one in Kinston, which is an area we’ll pick up in the next quadrennium,” he said, referring to changing legislative districts as a result of reapportionment.
The hardest commitment to keep, he said, was reading all of the bills before voting on them.
“I really did not have any idea how hard that was going to be,” he said. “I paid the price, and many nights got very little sleep. But I had a working knowledge of every bill that hit the floor. That turned out to be an incredible asset.”
It also has given him a reputation in the House of Representatives, he said.
“Ididn’t intend for that to make my reputation,” he said. “But it did.”
He said when he considers a bill, he first asks, “Will the changes apply to my district?”
“If they do, I pay very close attention to them,” he said. “If they don’t, I consider if they are necessary for the district or the state.”
He said he also tries to remember that every bill affects someone’s life.
He said the legislature has to continue to address education issues and jobs. One, he said, will feed the other.
“When you say you want to work on education without a specific goal or endpoint, you are just spinning your wheels,” he said.
He is specifically interested in expanding dual enrollment programs that allow high school students to begin earning credits for academic or skilled training as early as 10th grade. In District 92, he said, it is critical that students have access to skilled training.
“Those jobs are now some of the highest paying jobs out there,” he said. “Why in the world would we not take it further.
“We’ve got to continue to grow that in every school in this county,” he said. “Transportation can be a problem, so we’ve got to find ways to make it easier.”
He said the county has excellent education leaders who work together, and he has appreciated their input in the past three years.
“Jobs and education go hand in hand,” he said. “We can’t get job growth without having educated students. Every other issue that impacts the state, jobs can help heal. If we have better paying jobs, people are doing better and can afford to buy more.”
Jones previously served eight years on the Andalusia City Council. He earned a B.S. from Birmingham-Southern University and a law degree from the University of Alabama.
In his first term, he has served on the Rules, Judiciary, and Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure committees. Earlier this year, the School Superintendents of Alabama presented its annual Power of One award for legislative service to Rep. Jones.
He and his wife, Kathy Harper Jones, Kathy Harper Jones, are the parents of two daughters, Olivia and Sophia. He is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Andalusia and is a member of a number of community and civic organizations including Andalusia Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Alabama Easter Seals, and the National Rifle Association.