Lisa Ward announced that she won the Democratic nomination for State Senate District 21 without a contest after no other Democrat qualified against her.
Ward is age 55 and is a former Lakeview city council member and longtime community activist. Ward is a shareholder in a company that does research and development on repurposing abandoned mines for renewable energy sources.
“I am tired of lawmakers making laws for us, about us but without us,” Ward said in a statement.
Ward said that she is running to improve the standard of living in SD21 and that her passion is to improve the lives of her roughly 20 thousand constituents, 23% of whom live in poverty, according to the latest census. The census reveals a median household income in Pickens County of less than $40,000.
In March of 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pickens County lost its only medical center with the closure of Pickens County Hospital. Ward said that the closure was a blow to the local economy. The hospital employed about 150 people. Patients now must travel 38 miles to the nearest hospital. Ward is concerned about the health and safety of the county’s residents.
“How are we okay in the middle of a pandemic closing down the only hospital in the entire county?” Ward asked.
According to the non-profit, Feeding America, Pickens County ranked 96% higher than the national average for child food insecurity. In May of 2021, after serving the community for 65 years, Piggly Wiggly, a well-known southern grocery store chain, closed its doors. When news of the closure became public, Ward immediately drove to the site.
“To me it was an awakening of just how bad things have become in rural Alabama and I knew I had to do something.”
Pickens County is located west of Tuscaloosa. The entire county is sustained by only one small grocery store.
Ward said she believes too little has been done for the poor and underserved communities. Following recent redistricting by the Alabama Legislature, District 21 includes central and southwest Tuscaloosa County, including the city of Tuscaloosa and all of Pickens County.
Ward will not face the voters until the Nov. 8 general election when she will go up against the Republican nominee.
In the SD21 Republican primary, incumbent State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) is being challenged by Trip Powell III.
Ward is one of just six Democrats who are challenging GOP State Senate incumbents in the Nov. 8 general election.
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