Candidates speak at first GOP political forum

Published 9:15 am Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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A slate of Republican candidates running for public offices were introduced during the first in a series of GOP forums held at Andalusia City Hall Thursday night.

The forum provided the candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves and to make remarks on the office they are seeking. It featured candidates seeking offices in Covington County as well as those running for Alabama House and Senate seats. The Covington County GOP is planning a forum in Opp on March 17 and another in Florala with the date to be determined.

The primary election is set for May 24.

State Auditor

The only candidate in attendance seeking a statewide office was Rusty Glover who is running for State Auditor.

“I served a term in the Alabama House of Representatives and three terms in the Senate. I want to serve the people of our state. The State Auditor’s office selects one of the three registrars in each county. We want to make sure those who are enforcing our state voting laws, are carrying out the law. Three groups recognized Alabama as having the safest election and I want to make sure it stays number one,” Glover said.


The first candidates seeking local offices to speak were those running for Coroner. The first to speak was incumbent Norman Hobson.

“I have served the citizens of Covington County for seven years and would be honored to continue that service. I’m proud to say have served with experience, integrity and know how to assist families who experience a sudden loss of a loved one,” Hobson said.

The second Coroner candidate recognized was Kelly Averill Lynn.

“I’m a lifelong resident of Covington County except for my time spent in the military. As military police officer I have examined many different types of death and while in the military completed military justice studies. I currently serve the families of Covington County at a local funeral home, meaning I am already on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Lynn said.

The final candidate for Coroner to speak was Eddie Rowell.

“I bring 24 years of medical experience. As a paramedic, I am often the first one at a death scene. I believe the passion I have to help my fellow man and to assist family members who have lost a loved one. If elected, I can hit the ground running as your coroner,” Rowell said.

Sheriff’s Office

Candidates for Covington County Sheriff were the next to take the podium, beginning with Dennis Meeks.

“The citizens of Covington County deserve an experienced and proven leader in the sheriff’s office. I was elected as sheriff in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 and 2014. I have worked in every division within the sheriff’s office. The office of sheriff is a huge responsibility and it requires a leader with proven experience of working in the sheriff’s office. I am the candidate with those qualifications,” Meeks said.

Incumbent Blake Turman was next to speak.

“During my term as sheriff we have had a lot of accomplishments,” Turman said. “I honored to serve as sheriff and it is a position I do not take lightly. I am a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week sheriff and I am always able to be contacted. I make a point to be at all crime scenes. During my tenure, all deaths have been investigated, all search warrants have been conducted. No stone has been left uncovered. I’ll continue to do that.”

Alabama House, Dist. 92

Two candidates seeking the office of Alabama House of Representatives, Dist. 92, spoke at the forum. First to speak was Matthew Hammett.

“I will treat this office just like I do my customers … with cooperation and communication. In my business, I work with my customers and that is the same thing I will do in Montgomery in order to solve the problems we have in this district. I can’t promise you but three things: I will work hard for you, I’ll be honest and I’ll be accessible,” Hammett said.

Also running for the Dist. 92 seat is Greg White.

“I am pleased to have served Covington County for quite a few years as the chairman of the Covington County Commission. Perhaps more important than the experience I gained there, is the experience I have in providing accounting and income tax services to hundreds of individuals and small businesses. Working with retail merchants, builders, farmers, service providers have given me first-hand experience that I will take with me to Montgomery and the Legislature,” White said.

Alabama Senate, Dist. 31

Three candidates were on hand seeking the Dist. 31 State Senate seat. The first to speak was Josh Carnley.

“I’ve had the opportunity to travel throughout Dist. 31 through my business. It will be an honor to serve the people of this district. During my time on the Coffee County Commission one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to listen to people. I will take a servants attitude to Montgomery,” Carnley said.

The second candidate to speak was Norman Horton.

“We are fighting for our country and our state. Each of us can make a difference in Montgomery. You can talk to your legislators. There are several bills that are now law that I have written that have made a difference in people’s lives. I’m passionate about our veterans and I have written several bills to help them. I love Alabama and I’m willing to pay the price for our liberties,” Horton said.

The final speaker of the forum was Dist. 31 candidate Mike Jones.

“Thirteen years ago, I made two promises: first was to hold regular town hall meetings after every regular session. I’ve honored that process and have learned from that process. Second, that I will never vote for a bill that I have not read. I was pretty naive back then, but I have kept that promise. It’s important. I’m willing to do what is needed to place myself in a leadership position to help initiate greater change. I will take the experience I have gained in the House with me to the Senate,” Jones said.