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Attorney Lance Bell is running for the open Senate seat in Senate District 11. Bell addressed the St. Clair County Republican Party at their meeting in Springville on Thursday night.
“I want to be your next state senator,” Bell said. “People are talking and telling me that I have nothing to worry about. I am nervous as can be. Please make phone calls on my behalf. In order to get there, I need your help.”
SD11 is currently represented by State Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville). McClendon is not running for another term.
“I was chair of this party for six years, and with all of your help, I will be your next Senator,” Bell said.
Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth (R) also addressed the group.
“Whether you like me or not, you are stuck with me, because I have neither a Republican or a Democratic opponent,” Ainsworth said after comments praising the conservative direction that the state has been moving over the last four years.
“I have no opponent, but I am here in St Clair County anyway because I care about St. Clair County.”
Ainsworth endorsed Bell.
“I support Lance Bell,” Ainsworth said. “He is a good friend, and he will be a great senator for St. Clair County and the state of Alabama. Help send this guy to the Senate; he will be a great one.
"What a great honor this evening to have Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth endorse me for State Senate, District 11," Bell said on social media afterward, " I really appreciate his leadership. With your support, we can accomplish great things for District 11 and the state of Alabama. I ask for your support and vote next Tuesday."
St. Clair County Republican Party vice chairman and the chairman of the St. Clair County Young Republicans Logan Glass also publicly endorsed Bell.
“Thank you, Lance, for running and being one of those rising leaders, and thank you, Lt. Gov. Ainsworth,” Glass said. “I think the future of our state is in very good hands.”
Springville Police Chief Wayne Walton said, “I am glad that we will have someone who will support law enforcement in Montgomery. We have needed that for a long time.”
“We are going to have to make some changes,” Bell said. “… it is time to start sending people to jail. Slapping them on the wrist and telling them to sit in the corner isn’t working.”
When 1819 News asked Bell whether exceptions were needed to Alabama’s current anti-abortion law if the leaked Supreme Court decision stands, Bell replied, “We have seen this leaked draft. I would not be surprised to see some changes since that opinion was drafted.
“I have to see the actual decision and read it before I can answer that."
Senate District 11 includes portions of Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega counties.
Bell graduated from Faulkner University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He worked in law enforcement as a St. Clair County Sheriff’s deputy and then as an investigator for the District Attorney’s office. He has a law degree from the Birmingham School of Law. He is an attorney and municipal court judge in Ohatchee.
Bell is a member of the Alabama Municipal Judges Association, Chair of the 3rd Congressional District State Executive Committee for the Alabama Republican Party, a member of the Greater St. Clair Chamber of Commerce and more.
Bell is perhaps best known in political circles as having been one of former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard’s (R-Auburn) defense attorneys in 2016.
Bell is married to Holly Flemmons Bell. They have two sons.
Bell faces retired military chaplain Michael Wright in the May 24 Republican primary.
No Democratic candidate qualified in SD11 this year so the GOP primary winner is likely the next senator representing the district.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.
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