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Dr. Will Boyd is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Boyd spoke with 1819 News Friday night about his campaign for the open U.S. Senate seat, currently held by Sen. Richard Shelby (R).

“I am running for Senate because I want every Alabamian to live the American dream,” Boyd told 1819 News. "Too many Alabamians and Americans are falling behind. ... I offer strong solutions to the problems that are facing this country.”

Boyd previously was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Alabama in 2018. He lost the general election to Republican Will Ainsworth. Boyd was a Senate candidate in 2017 but lost in the Democratic primary to former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones. In 2016, he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05). Boyd was elected Chairman of the Lauderdale County Democratic Party. He is a member of the Alabama Democratic Executive Committee.

See also profiles on Democratic candidates Brandaun Dean and Patricia Salter Jamieson.

Boyd was asked whether he advocated Medicaid expansion.

“Absolutely," Boyd said. "When I was running for Lieutenant Governor alongside Walt Maddox that was one of the major issues in our platform, especially when over 800,000 Alabamians are living in poverty.”

Boyd said that he also supports “negotiated drug prices for seniors.”

With the government's debt growing, Boyd was asked about introducing or supporting a balanced budget amendment.

“Absolutely,” Boyd replied. “I don’t believe in spending more than we bring in. A debt clock is one of the applications that I keep on my phone.”

Another pressing issue is crime, particularly in Alabama's major cities.

“One of the reasons for the crime spree is that a lot of people are struggling,” Boyd said. “Voices have been diminished and district lines have been drawn to diminish people’s influence. Too many feel that they don’t have hope.

“We should give the police everything that they need to do their jobs. But we should also make sure that we have good relations between the police and the community.”

Boyd said that “COVID-19 has also contributed to a mental health crisis.”

If elected, Boyd said he hoped to help “create an Alabama with more educated Americans.”

Another major issue facing Congress is border security.

“I don’t believe we need to be building any more walls or fences,” Boyd said.

What is Boyd's solution for illegal immigrants?

“I support a pathway for citizenship for illegal immigrants in our community,” Boyd said.

Boyd said that he agreed with supporting the Border Patrol that is already there but that resources should also be devoted toward working to “stop homegrown terrorist cells.”

In light of the war going on in Ukraine, Boyd was asked his opinion about sending more American troops to Europe as a deterrent to possible Russian aggression against NATO countries.

“I really believe that we need to do more against dictators,” Boyd said. “We need to do all we can do to stop aggression.”

Boyd said that he favored, “Sending missile batteries like the Patriot missile to shoot down Russian aircraft to Ukraine. … I do think we need to send more boots on the ground to Europe.”

Boyd added that he favored expanding NATO to include nations like Finland that has previously been nonaligned.

Given the Democrat field in this primary, Boyd was asked about where he thought he was in the race.

“I am leading in the polls and am confident going forward into the primary,” Boyd responded.

Boyd said that he is running a clean campaign and is not running negative attacks against his primary opponents.

Boyd is endorsed by the Alabama New South Alliance, the Alabama Democratic Conference, District 20 United Mine Workers of America, Jefferson County Millennials and the Barbour County Democrats.

Boyd is the presiding Bishop of Zion Ministries and pastor of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, a 162-year-old church in Florence. He was the first African American elected to the office of City Councilman in Greenville, Illinois.

Boyd was born in Florence, South Carolina. He graduated from Mayo High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering at the University of South Carolina. He later earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Regis University, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Religion from Christian Bible College, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Organization and Management from Capella University, and a Doctor of Psychology with a Christian worldview (PsyD) from St. James The Elder Theological Seminary. Boyd has also received honorary doctorates in Divinity and Christian Counseling before being awarded a diplomate in Traumatology from St. James the Elder Theological Seminary.

Boyd served as the local chapter President of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) while at the University of South Carolina, an Engineering Student Assistant at South Carolina Electric and Gas, Company, and a South Carolina House of Representative Page to Former State Representative Denny Neilson (D). Before transitioning into “full-time ministry” and public service, Boyd worked in the United States and The People’s Republic of China, serving as a Manufacturing Engineer, Production Manager, and Quality Manager for A.O. Smith Water Products Company, Fedders Corporation, and International Filter Manufacturing. Boyd’s experience includes serving as Dean of Student Success & Adjunct Assistant Professor of Management at Greenville College and later as Chancellor at St. James the Elder Theological Seminary.

Boyd is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated and served in several offices in his local chapter, including Keeper of Records and Seal, Vice Basileus, and Basileus. 

Boyd says that he is a consecrated Patriarch and International Presiding Prelate with oversight of churches around the world.  Prior to receiving the rank of Patriarch, Boyd was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan Archbishop and then Cardinal Bishop. He was consecrated into these ecclesiastical offices by the late Patriarch Paul, former head of the Holy Catholic Church International. 

Boyd has served on a number of boards in Illinois and Alabama including the Board of Directors for the Health Care Authority of Lauderdale County and the City of Florence, Alabama.

Boyd is also an author of three published books: Scratching the Surface; Can You Hear Me Now? How Active Listening and Continuous Articulation of Core Values Can Improve Leadership Effectiveness in Any Organization, Even the Church; and Watch God!

Boyd and his wife Vida have three children and reside in Hoover.

Boyd, Brandaun Dean, and Lanny Jackson are all running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Lillie Boddie, Katie Britt, Mo Brooks, Karla M. Dupriest, Mike Durant, and Jake Schafer are all running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

Both primaries are on May 24.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email: brandon.moseley@1819News.com.

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