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State Rep Dickie Drake (R-Leeds) is running for re-election Tuesday in House District 45.

“I am a lifelong Alabamian,” Drake said. “My family moved to Leeds when I was three and I have lived here my whole life."

Drake served for 42 years in the Air Force and Alabama Air National Guard and has flown missions in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Both of Drake’s sons are veterans, with his youngest son still active military.

His brother, Owen, was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2006 and was part of the historic wave election in 2010 that swept Republicans into office. In 2011, Owen died of cancer. Dickie Drake then ran and won in the special election for his brother’s seat. Drake was re-elected in 2014 and again in 2018.

In reflecting on his legislative career, Drake noted several moments that stand out.

“As Chairman of the House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, I have passed a lot of military bills,” Drake said. “When Jefferson County tried to make homeowners with septic tanks pay sewer fees, I fought and defeated that. I passed the Savannah Hardin bill after that grandmother ran that girl to death.”

Savannah Hardin was a nine-year-old who was forced to run wind sprints by her grandmother and stepmother as a punishment until she eventually collapsed and died. Numerous neighbors witnessed this abuse but did nothing.

Drake’s anti-child abuse bill, named in memory of Savannah Hardin, requires any Alabama citizen with suspicion of or knowledge of child abuse or neglect to report it to either law enforcement or the Alabama Department of Human Resources.  The bill calls for yearly training in signs of child abuse or neglect for anyone providing professional services to children, prevents employers from retaliating against employees who make a report, and penalizes people who knowingly provide false reports of child abuse and neglect.

“Perhaps my proudest moment as a state legislator was when Dennis Russell [a mortician and St. Clair County coroner] called me with a John Doe that was going to be buried in an unmarked potter’s field grave," Drake said. "I got to researching it and found out that he was a decorated World War II veteran. I got him buried in Montevallo [at the veteran’s cemetery] and even found his relatives in Miami who got to come to his funeral, including his 94-year-old sister who didn’t know he had passed away.

“I voted for Constitutional carry. In fact, I walked out of a meeting with the governor and into a committee because I knew there was going to be a vote. I was the deciding vote to get it passed out of committee.”

Drake said he is very much pro-life, citing his vote in favor of the state constitutional amendment to end abortion.

Drake serves on the Shelby County Legislation Committee, the Jefferson County Legislation Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, the Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Drake is being challenged by Susan Dubose, of Greystone.

According to sources, this seat is polling as one of the closest races in the Alabama House of Representatives in Tuesday’s Republican primary. House District 45 includes parts of Jefferson, St. Clair and Shelby Counties.

The Republican nominee will likely win this seat in Nov. as no Democrat has qualified in HD45.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.

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