Incoming State Rep. Donna Givens (R-Loxley) says she loves politics.
Givens told 1819 News in a recent interview that she was "always around politics growing up."
"Throughout my childhood, there were numerous Governors or someone raising funds for a Governor would come by my parents' home, and my Dad would always give a campaign contribution to get good people elected or keep good people elected, so I grew up with that," Givens said.
According to her campaign site, Givens graduated from Robertsdale High School and Mobile College and retired in 2021 after a 47-year career with Baldwin EMC. She has held positions in numerous community, business, and civic organizations in Baldwin County, including serving as chair of both the North and Central Baldwin Chambers of Commerce and on the board of the South Baldwin Chamber and South Baldwin Regional Medical Center. Additionally, multiple governors have appointed Givens to leadership positions on state boards.
Donna and her husband, Alton, have been married for 30 years. They have four children and seven grandchildren.
"In my career at Baldwin EMC, I was in governmental affairs, economic development, and community service," Givens said. "That kind of sums up the political arena almost in Montgomery. I was going to Montgomery at one time on a weekly basis when they were in session. "
Givens said she was "in and out of Montgomery" throughout her career and that "it was my job to build relationships with the elected officials, so I did."
"I always had a great working relationship with our House members and our Senators, so I was just always in awe of them and the job that they did," Givens said. "In the back of my mind (I was) really thinking, 'Oh, I'd love to do that one day.'"
Givens said she decided to run for the House District 64 seat because she had a "desire to serve and give back."
"The job that I had opened the door for me to build these relationships and have the desire," Givens said. "It's a servant's job, and I have a servant's heart. I love politics. A lot of people just think it's a bad word. I love politics."
Like most elected positions in Alabama, the House District 64 seat race was ultimately decided in the Republican primary in May.
Givens said she was endorsed by all seven mayors in the House District and had endorsements from influential groups such as ALFA and the Alabama Forestry Association.
Givens ended up narrowly defeating Angelo Fermo in the primary.
"He worked hard," Givens said. "All my friends and stuff were like, 'Oh, this will just be a cakewalk for you.' Well, it was not."
Givens told 1819 News that the most common concerns she heard on the campaign trail were about infrastructure, inflation, and gas prices.
"I was buying three tanks of gas a week (campaigning), so I certainly understood what they were talking about," Givens said.
Givens will serve on the Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure; Ports, Waterways, and Intermodal Transit; Local Legislation; and the Boards, Agencies, and Commissions committees.
"I'll always work to help the farmers," Givens said. "Education is something I look forward to working with. We have a great education system, but you can't not do anything. It has to keep getting better and better, and I look forward to helping with that — health care in general. I serve on the South Baldwin Hospital Board. I understand some of the issues that all health care systems are facing and especially after COVID and the shortage of nurses, doctors, and employees, period and the negative impact that's having on our health care system."
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.
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