By Brandon Moseley

Katie Exum has announced her campaign to seek the Republican nomination for State House of Representative District 40.

She is seeking to replace incumbent Rep. K.L. Brown (R-Jacksonville), who has announced his retirement.

Exum is a resident of Jacksonville and a small business owner.

“As a wife, mother, and woman business owner, I am very excited about Alabama’s future and the future of District 40,” Exum said in a statement. “As your Representative, I will work very hard to develop our district into a district that is ready for the technological advances that our workforce will demand. By building a Workforce Development Center, we can ensure that all ...District 40 citizens will have the skills and training for immediate employment in the fast-paced, technological trades of the next generation. Combining new advances from all trades with science and engineering will help build a successful workforce with industry partners, manufacturing and industrial development, and substantially increase our district’s appeal for large employers.”

Exum owns an outdoor recreational magazine called “Alabama Trails Magazine.” The magazine was featured on “Absolutely Alabama” with Fred Hunter and has received other recognition.

Exum is also a former teacher.

“Education is very important to me,” she said. “As a former public-school teacher in Alabama, I understand how to make schools successful. Helping our schools set and reach benchmark goals for students in order to receive Blue Ribbon Excellence in Schools will raise our children's opportunities for continued advancement in pursuing their dreams. Reading, math and science are critical to the future opportunities for our students. I will work very [closely] with local schools, trade schools, community colleges, and universities to make sure our students are ready for their futures and their dreams. Our schools are amazing, and our educators are working hard to help our students learn and grow into leaders for our community and state. I am proud of the hard work our teachers do every day.”

Exum serves in a variety of capacities for numerous service-oriented organizations such as American Agriculture Law Association, Rotary International, Christian Legal Society, Federalist Society, The Exchange Club of Jacksonville, Veteran’s Help Desk, YMCA, Junior League of Anniston, Girl Scouts of America, Calhoun and Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce. 

Exum said that her campaign platform will be to seek to grow small businesses, build a state-of-the-art workforce development center, increase economic development by bringing in manufacturing and industrial development businesses, establish a free Veteran’s Legal Help Desk at the new VA clinic, obtain grants and funding for enterprise and opportunity zones, create more farm-to-school programs for local school systems by growing women-owned farms, expand broadband in rural areas of the district, engage school and community leaders to attain recognition as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, and fully fund all levels of law enforcement. 

“As a law enforcement family, protecting our police officers, first responders, and firefighters is personal to me,” Exum said. “My father was a sheriff’s deputy, and I am proud of our brothers and sisters that take up their shields every day to keep us all safe. I will always support fully funding all levels of law enforcement. My father was an Air Force veteran, my husband’s father and two of his uncles are all Marines, so I understand the needs of our veterans and will work to create a free legal help clinic for our veterans in District 40. Supporting our military is such an honor for me and my family.”

Exum and her husband, Scott, have a 10-year-old daughter. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and an elementary education certification from Troy University-Dothan. She also holds a paralegal certificate from Jacksonville State University and expects to graduate in May from the Birmingham School of Law. Her husband, Scott, is originally from Eufaula. He has a degree in electrical engineering and an executive MBA from Auburn University. 

The Republican primary will take place on May 24, 2022.