The Alabama Farmers Federation, the state’s largest farm group, announced another round of legislative endorsements as Republican qualifying has opened this week. This latest batch of endorsements includes Republicans and Democrats, incumbents and a first-time candidate.

  • State Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville) for Senate District 17, which covers all or portions of Blount, Jefferson and St. Clair counties.

  • James Lomax (R-Huntsville) for Alabama House District 20, which is in Madison County. The seat is being vacated by the retirement of Rep. Howard Sanderford.

  • State Sen. Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) for Alabama Senate District 18, which is in Jefferson County.

  • State Rep. Rex Reynolds (R-Huntsville) for Alabama House District 21, which is in Madison County.

  • State Rep. Corley Ellis (R-Columbiana) for Alabama House District 41, which is in Shelby County.

“Sen. Shelnutt does an exceptional job for the people of this district,” said Dr. Stevan Parsons, president of the Jefferson County Farmers Federation. “He is a hard-working member of the Senate, and we look forward to seeing him continue his good work.”

“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Farmers Federation,” said Shelnutt. “I am excited about continuing to represent this district’s farmers and all the constituents in District 17.”

Shelnutt received a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in education from the University of Montevallo. He has taught and coached at the high school level. He also taught at Jefferson State Community College. He presently works in real estate and business development.

“James Lomax is an outstanding young man who has been a civic leader in our community and will take his leadership skills to Montgomery to best represent us,” said Charles Butler, president of the Madison County Farmers Federation. “We expect great things out of him.”

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Farmers Federation and commit to studying and addressing their issues in the Legislature,” said Lomax. “I will work equally as hard for them as I will all the constituents of District 20.”

Lomax has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a master’s degree from the College of Leadership and Public Service at Lipscomb University.

Lomax and his wife, Elizabeth, live in South Huntsville and attend Whitesburg Baptist Church.

“Sen. Smitherman has long been a leader in the Alabama Senate,” said Dr. Stevan Parsons, Jefferson County Farmers Federation president. “He works hard to represent the people of Senate District 18, so we are proud to endorse his reelection efforts.”

“I am honored to have the endorsement of Alabama’s farmers,” said Smitherman. “I look forward to continuing my work with them to promote our state’s most valuable resources.”

Smitherman has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montevallo and a law degree from the Miles College School of Law.

Smitherman and his wife, Judge Carole Smitherman, have four children and attend More Than Conqueror’s Faith Church where he serves as an Elder.

“Rep. Reynolds has extensive experience at all levels of public service, and he will use that experience to continue to represent the people of District 21 well,” said Charles Butler, president of the Madison County Farmers Federation.

“It is always an honor to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Farmers Federation,” said Reynolds. “We share the same conservative values, and I look forward to working with them.”

Reynolds has a master’s degree in Public Safety and Justice Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery. He served as Huntsville’s Police Chief, first Public Safety Director and City Administrator before retiring in 2013.

Reynolds and his wife, Mary, have two sons and three grandsons.

“Rep. Ellis is a faithful public servant to this district,” said John DeLoach, president of the Shelby County Farmers Federation. “He is an outstanding representative for our farmers, and we look forward to working with him over the next four years.”

“I am humbled and honored to receive the endorsement of the Farmers Federation,” said Ellis. “We share the same conservative values, and I look forward to continuing to represent them and carry their voices in Montgomery to best serve them.”

Ellis received his bachelor’s degree in business and his Master’s in business administration from Auburn University. Prior to serving in the Legislature, Ellis served as a Shelby County commissioner with two years as commission chairman. He presently owns Ellis Properties Inc., a real estate brokerage firm.

Ellis and his wife, Julie, have one son, Jamison. They attend Columbiana United Methodist Church.

The Alabama Farmers Federation is the state’s largest farm organization with more than 340,000 members. It uses a true grassroots approach to select candidates, relying on FarmPAC endorsements from county Federation boards for local elections.

The major party primaries will be held on May 24.

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