The special primary election for House District 27 is less than a week away, with six Republicans vying for the position.

There is no Democrat candidate, which means whichever Republican receives over 50% of the vote in the primary on April 2 will be the representative. A runoff will be held on April 30 if no one achieves a majority. 

State Sen. Wes Kitchens (R-Arab) held the seat for nearly six years before he took over Senate District 9, formerly held by the vice president of the Business Council of Alabama, Clay Scofield.

The Republican candidates include former Secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education Jeana Ross, Marshall County Schools Board of Education member Bill Hancock, former Marshall County commissioner Bill Stricklend, Arab City councilman Alan Miller, former Morgan County commissioner Stacy George, and U.S. Army veteran Billy Ray Todd.

The State Legislature has already dealt with several hot-button issues like school choice and banning DEI this session, but whoever takes over the seat will have plenty of work left to do when they take office.

To help voters better understand each candidate’s values and plans for when they take office, 1819 News asked the following six questions:

  1. What is the first issue you want to address if you take office?

  2. What are constituents saying is their top priority/concern regarding state and/or national politics?

  3. How has your stance on gambling changed, if at all, given the recent developments in the state legislature?

  4. What do you think of the school choice bill that was passed?

  5. How would you approach handling “culture war” issues and “woke” policies in Alabama’s institutions? (e.g., transgender ideology, LGBTQ books in kid’s libraries, CRT, DEI)

  6. The Legislature passed a law addressing the IVF issue but said more would need to be done in the near future. Given the State Supreme Court’s decision, how should the state move forward?

Candidate Stacy George was unable to answer the questions due to a family emergency; however, he said his “positions are the same as before.” Bill Hancock did not respond. The other candidates' answers are as follows:

Jeana Ross

  1. The first issue I hope to address is to support building a quality education experience in Alabama. The benefits of a good education positively impact our workforce, economy, health, as well as, poverty and crime rates. It is essential to having successful and contributing citizens.

  2. Folks believe our federal government has failed us at the southern border. They see an increasing flow of illegals getting into our country, and they fear illicit drugs like Fentanyl harming their children. As a member of the legislature, I’ll propose increased funding for law enforcement to tackle this problem. 

  3. Nothing has changed for me. I’m opposed to the expansion of gaming in our state. 

  4. I support providing a high-quality education for all children in Alabama. Whether that’s a public school education in your local community, or a private or parochial school, a charter school or being homeschooled, parents should be the driving force. I won’t support anything that takes funding away from our local schools.

  5. I’m a conservative pro-family Republican. I believe in traditional values. I’m committed to standing up to the liberal ideas coming from Washington, D.C.

  6. I am staunchly pro-life. I believe the legislation to get IVF and fertility clinics back open should provide a road. If additional action is needed, I’ll support efforts to help families who are starting families in our state. 

Bill Stricklend

  1. The first issue that I would address upon taking office, somewhat depending on the time left in the legislative session, is where both Education and General Fund Budgets are in the legislative process. The budgets should be prioritized and passed.

  2. Most often, the constituents I have encountered during the campaign want to stop the politicians, especially at a national level, from voting from an agenda and return to voting for what’s best for their constituents. In other words, get back to representing their districts, not partisan divisions, which end up with stopping their ability to make life better for their constituents.

  3. My stance on gambling has not changed, I am still against any legislation that would legalize casino gambling in Alabama. The thought process that legalized gambling would be the best way to combat illegal gambling is asinine. If the real agenda was to actually combat illegal gambling, then elevating the penalties for violating the current laws to felonies instead of misdemeanors would be the course.

  4. I would have voted against the school choice bill that passed. Saying that, it has been passed and signed into law by the governor, so the next step for me would be to make sure sufficient checks and balances are in place before the first tax dollar is ever spent on this legislation. I would be against any expansion of the legislation that resulted in more monies taken from public schools. As I have said numerous times during this campaign, as the Representative for House 27 district, I cannot vote for any legislation that reduces the funding of the public schools in this district. We have some of the best schools and educators in the state of Alabama.

  5. I stand firmly on my conservative Christian values and would stand against any ideology that would weaken the moral values that I believe this country was founded on.

  6. The entire legislation process surrounding this issue was hurriedly done due to the ruling of the Alabama Supreme Court, even though the case was known to be pending before the court for months. The knee-jerk reaction to the ruling resulted in a deficient bill being passed, which undoubtedly will have to be amended in the future. As in most situations, any time a perceived emergency occurs, hastily passing a bill usually leads to bad governance. As a conservative Republican, I believe in less government, not more. Both the school choice bill and gambling bill would lead to more government bureaucracy and tax dollars being spent. 

Alan Miller

  1. I want to start working on the issues that affect everyone. Obviously, there will be folks who don’t vote for me in this election, but if I win, I will represent everyone. Transparent government, public safety, and workforce development will be my main legislative priorities. I want to bring new industry into House District 27 that will enrich the lives of the citizens who live here. It is my goal to bring not just ‘jobs’ into the district but high-paying careers.

  2.  Inflation. Folks are feeling the pain in their pocketbooks because of the poor leadership at the federal level in the Biden administration. What the state can do to ease that burden is bring high-paying careers into the state/districts, and reduce taxes where we can, and give Alabamians back their own money.

  3. It’s not really changed. My stance on gaming has always been the same. I’m personally not pro-gaming, but it’s clear that Alabamians want to make that choice themselves. I think they should get that opportunity. It’s their state, it’s their districts, and it’s their counties and cities. We are their elected representatives, and it’s our job to do what they tell us to do. I think there needs to be items in the House Bill cleaned up, and I look forward to seeing what that looks like.

  4. I haven’t spoken to a single individual in this District who has been pro-school choice. We’re extremely fortunate in our district to have great schools, but not every district can say that. I can promise you that I’ll be listening to what my constituents say, and right now, the people here stand against it. 

  5. First, I think these issues go away when we focus on the things that unite us and make Alabama a safer and more prosperous state. I think you can say as much for the country as well. However, transgender ideology LGBTQ books in children's libraries, CRT, and DEI have absolutely no place in our society and in our state. I will stand against bringing topics such as this into our schools. America is not perfect, but it’s the greatest nation in world history founded on the idea that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and the divisive topics above fly in the face of that foundation.

  6. I believe that life begins at conception. The Supreme Court made the correct decision in determining, based on the law already on the books, that unborn children in Vetro are, in fact, living children.

Billy Ray Todd

  1. First issue is education, re-examine the books that are currently being used. Remove inappropriate books in schools and libraries. Remove Marxist indoctrination, remove 1619 history, remove SEL, social emotional learning, common core, BLM blue ribbon curriculum and transgender and repair emotional damage to our children. What has been going on is a national security threat. Repair the damage with Patriotic studies. Our tax money should not be funding Marxist indoctrination and pornographic children's books.

  2. People are tired of the same politicians, Republicans voting against their values, caving to Democrats not defending their voters raising their taxes, worries about the two-tier justice system, and Republicans not standing up for the voters and children.

  3. Gambling is very concerning in HD 27. The residents of Marshall County are against it. Being their representative, I will hold true to their stance on gambling.

  4. What has occurred over the years with the Board of Education can't blame parents wanting school choice. My goal is to work with a coalition of teachers to look at the top-performing schools and implement their academic policy. Teachers do not want to be therapists or indoctrinate students. Teachers want to provide an education for success.

  5. Enforce the laws; it shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly or recklessly distribute to a minor, possess with intent to distribute to a minor or offer a agree to distribute to a minor any material which is harmful to minors, Alabama Code Title 13 A Criminal Code 13 A no bipartisan nor negotiation I am firmed on this enforce the law.

  6. Every family has the God-given right to have children. I like to fix IVF to give families that opportunity. 

    Last but not least, people are worried because we are losing our country because Republicans will not stand up to Democrats. I have proven myself that I will stand up for the voters, the reason I have decided to run for HD 27.

To connect with the story's author or comment, email or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.