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The race for Alabama House District 74 will be one to watch today after recent redistricting and demographic changes turned the seat into a toss-up election.
District 74's state House seat is currently occupied by Charlotte Meadows (R–Montgomery), who is running for reelection against Democratic opponent Phillip Ensler.
Ensler, a prominent advocate, civil rights attorney and former policy advisor to Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, has been active in the Montgomery area for years.
According to Meadows, the newly drawn district map means less to her because she has always sought to care for Montgomery area residents, regardless if they live in her district or not.
"My experience, my passion for Montgomery and for Alabama, and my passion to improve education: I think those are those are all things that set me apart from [Ensler]," Meadows said. "I do know that I'm going to be very non-partisan. That's what he seems to be saying, that he's going to be the best candidate because he's going to take care of all the people. Well, I've been taking care of all of my constituents, and really it doesn't even matter if they live in my district. Montgomery is a pretty big area, and the River Region is probably four times the size of my district, and I've never asked somebody, 'Do you live in District 74?' I just respond. So, I don't think that's going to set him apart from me."
On the campaign trail, Meadows says the reception in the community has been overwhelmingly supportive, especially with her plans to address the repeal of Alabama's state tax on groceries.
"The reception has been outstanding from the people that have come to the door," Meadows continued. "A lot of people are very determined that we need to change the direction of the country. Of course, me being elected is not really going to make a difference in Washington, but there's a strong sentiment that things have got to change. One of the things that I'm planning on dropping a bill about is eliminating the sales tax on groceries, and people have responded positively to that. I've had one person out of like 3,000 that asked, 'Well, how are you going to pay for that?' And I had to explain that we [have] so much extra money this year that we really don't have to worry about that. It's a matter of priorities. Everybody that has any kind of a budget sets priorities, and to me, a priority should be making sure that people can eat."
Despite the questions surrounding this election, Meadows seems unfazed by the uncertainty of today's election.
"Honestly, I'm at peace, and the Lord reigns," Meadows said. "That's really all I can tell you. I'm very comfortable that we've done all we can, and now it's in God's hands."
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