Late last week, Jefferson County commissioner Steve Ammons announced he will be stepping down to become CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA). One Birmingham-area surgeon announced on Monday morning he will be in the running to take his place.

Urologist Brian Christine declared his candidacy for the District 5 special election on "Alabama’s Morning News" with J.T. on Monday.

Christine ran for state senate as a Republican but lost to incumbent State Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook) in the primary election.

Christine told 1819 News that he was inspired to run after hearing the Gospel reading at church several weeks ago from the Gospel of John.

“The Gospel reading was from the Gospel of John, the 10th chapter, the Good Shepherd discourse, where the Good Shepherd lays down his life for a sheep,” Christine explained. “And I think what that speaks to I think obviously in that context with Christ it’s being about literally laying down his life, it speaks to service. That resonates with me.”

According to Christine, he was approached by two Jefferson County commissioners who felt he would be a qualified addition to the commission. 

Christine comes from a family of Italian immigrants who migrated here during the first half of the 20th century. He said Alabama and Birmingham, specifically have been very good to him.

“I’m at the point where I can give service back,” Christine said. 

Christine said he thinks his experience identifying and fixing problems as a surgeon can guide him in leading the county if elected.

He described himself as both a social and fiscal conservative and said his priority, if elected, will be to keep developing Jefferson County for both large and small businesses.

“Jefferson County is the largest county in the state,” Christine said. “For the last couple of years, it’s been first in job creation. First or second in capital investment. I think that’s really important in continuing for Jefferson County to grow, to develop. … We have such potential, but I think if we’re going to continue to maximize that potential, then we need to continue to invest in recruiting businesses, recruiting industry and supporting the mom-and-pop small businesses and do that with conservative responsible fiscal policies.”

He said the county needs fiscally conservative leaders to prevent another fiasco like the $4.1 billion Jefferson County bankruptcy in 2013, which is still the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. 

“This position is not as much about the social issues, although that’s always there,” Christine said. “You name it, from right to life to religious freedom to freedom in our Second Amendment, but this position … this is more about good conservative fiscal responsibility in terms of growing business and really not letting the county get into the fiasco it was several years back.”

“I’m absolutely excited about it,” Christine added. “I’m stoked about it. I’m really pleased the Lord has put this in front of me. I’m ready to go for it.”

Ammons' resignation leaves two Republicans and two Democrats on the five-person commission. The special election, which is yet to be scheduled, will determine which party will have the majority.

The winner of the special election will represent District 5, which includes Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Homewood and Hoover.

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