Gubernatorial candidate businessman Lew Burdette spoke to the St. Clair County Republican Party at the regular meeting in Pell City on Thursday.
“I am not a career politician,” Burdette said. “I am a businessman. I grew up in my dad’s small-town grocery. That work ethic helped me at Books-a-Million" (Alabama-based bookstore chain, also known as BAM).
Burdette said that while he was at BAM the company “Grew from 250 to 16,000 employees over sixteen states.”
Burdette said that he has spent the last 19 years with Kings Home and Hannah Home.
“It has truly been an honor” to see persons recover “From abuse, poverty, and neglect,” Burdette said. “I spent 12 years volunteering at the University of Alabama.”
Burdette is challenging incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey (R) in the Republican Party primary and suggested that as governor he would have handled the COVID-19 crisis differently.
“Small businesses would never be closed again and that includes church[es] or [businesses] called nonessential,” Burdette said.
Burdette suggested that Ivey has not been a fiscal conservative.
“What was the first thing she did? Raise gas taxes 56%. It is a forever tax. The tax increases automatically every two years. What is the sense in that? It will be a dollar by the time some of your kids and grandkids are grown.”
Burdette said that the state is trailing the nation in too many areas.
“Alabama is number one in suicide rate for veterans,” Burdette said. “How are we 52nd in math. What if we were last in football? People could not sleep at night.”
Burdette denounced what he claimed was political corruption in the state.
“Nobody has influence over me,” said Burdette. “It breaks my heart that we are the fourth most politically corrupt state in the country. There has not been a decade where a public official has not been convicted and sent to prison or was forced to resign from office.”
Burdette criticized the state for allowing unlimited campaign contributions.
“I have self-imposed a $10,000 limit on my campaign contributions,” Burdette said. “I will work for term limits so we can get these lifetime politicians out of office.”
Burdette promised to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
“I have been asked are you for the First Amendment - of course I am for the First Amendment,” Burdette said. “As a victim of gun violence, I am a defender of the Second Amendment.
“Let's bring change to this state,” Burdette concluded. “We have a great state. There is no reason for us to be at the bottom.”
Auditor candidate Rusty Glover (R) also addressed the St. Clair County Republican Party about his campaign.
Deborah Howard announced that the St. Clair County Republican Women are holding a meeting at the City Market Grill on Friday at 12:00 noon to restart the group that has gone inactive in recent years.
Lindy Blanchard, Lew Burdette, Stacy Lee George, Kay Ivey, Tim James, Donald Trent Jones, Dean Odle, Dave Thomas, and Dean Young are all running in the Alabama Republican Primary on May 24.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected].