Gubernatorial candidate Tim James addressed St. Clair County Republicans at an event in Springville hosted by the Conservative Patriots Club and Mathews Manor.

“We have been in a decline that has been coming for half a century,” James said.

James is a Greenville businessman and the son of former Gov. Fob James (R), who was governor from 1979 to 1983 and 1995 to 1999. He said America’s march toward socialism did not appear to be headed to European socialism, but something more like that in Venezuela,

“If good people do not engage we are going to continue on this slide for generations and generations,” James said.

James did say that he believed that there was hope.

“I sense that there is an awakening going on,” James said. “People that have not been involved in politics are getting involved. Many of them are women that are forming these groups. People are rising up. What we are looking at, are the Debboras. The Debboras are rising. It is beginning and it will be one state at a time. Alabama is going to lead the nation.”

**Debbora was a Judge of Israel in the Old Testament book of Judges. 

James is challenging incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey (R) in the May 24 Republican primary.

“We are not without problems,” James said. “I have been very disappointed on Montgomery in the pandemic. I don’t want to exhaust it but I am very serious.”

James expressed misgivings about Gov. Ivey not intervening to prevent UAB from requiring its 10,000 employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I kept waiting for someone in government to say we are not doing this and it was like they didn’t care,” James said. “Kay Ivey and these people they did not get it. The idea that any government would tell a citizen, any citizen, that they have to take a vaccine and they were not going to be able to work, they were going to lose their jobs, and not be able to feed their family. This is the spirit of antichrist.”

He also criticized the Governor for allowing school systems to require that students be masked – in some cases since school resumed in August 2020 all the way to a couple of weeks ago.

“We know that little ones, kindergarteners, first, and second graders have never been to school without masks,” James said. “They learn from sound.”

James said that children can’t learn listening to muzzled teachers.

“That is how kids learn to read,” James said. “Wearing this muzzle, they know that something is wrong.”

James criticized the educational system for its poor test results.

“I was shocked to find out where our education system was,” James said. “We are at the bottom of the pack in reading and in math. In the mid-2000s, we were 39th now we are dead last.”

James promised to be “very aggressive” in turning around the schools. Teachers have told him that they can’t teach due to the unruly students in the classroom.

“There are two sorts of children that are causing problems,” James said. “Twenty-three kids in a class and I have got two unruly ones. One is likely a special needs child and the other is likely out of control. I do not know how to deal with a special needs child. I was not trained, but I do know how to handle a brat, especially boys.”

James said that the unruly students, not the disabled ones, should be taken out of the classroom and sent to instruction similar to a Marine Corps drill sergeant.

"Their entire life is to teach young men and women character,” James said. “When you discipline a child you are telling them that they matter. When you don’t, you are telling them that you don’t care.”

James said that when a child can not read at a third-grade level by the end of third grade. “The trajectory is lower. They fall behind and they never catch up.”

James said that school choice and strong principals are also “Part of the conversations.

James was asked if he supported repealing the grocery tax.

“We have got a press conference on Wednesday and we are going to call for the grocery tax on essential groceries and have it repealed once and for all,” James said. “This does not include Budweiser.”

James said that the cost of eliminating the tax would be $600 million, but that “You could level fund the government for two years to pay for it.”

James promised to repeal the escalator provision in the gas tax which increases automatically.

“I have never seen a tax that rises forever and forever,” James said. “It is the most offensive thing I have ever seen in my life.

James denounced the gambling bill that has been introduced in the state Senate by Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore).

“It will create revenue, there is no doubt, but the cost is higher than the revenue,” James said. “I just think we are better than this.”

James also called for the repeal of the Alabama medical marijuana law, SB46 by Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence), passed last year.

“If we do not get this repealed many people will die,” James said. “The state of Alabama is going into the drug distribution business like we went into the alcohol business.”

James said that the law makes it legal for a person to have up to 70 doses of medical marijuana in their possession at any one time.

“Nobody needs 70 doses of marijuana in their possession unless they are selling it on the street,” James said. “It is a gateway drug it is not even a question.

“...We need to win this election and stand together for what is right and true,” James stated. “It is about our children and our children’s children. I will make one promise, and I don’t do a lot of problems, but I will do everything possible to protect you and your children.”

Current St. Clair County Republican Party Chairman Ren Wheeler was also present to welcome James to St. Clair County. The next meeting of the St. Clair County Republican Party is Thursday at 6 p.m. in the St. Clair County Courthouse in Pell City.

The Republican Primary is May 24.

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